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Full text of "My Arctic journal : a year among ice-fields and Eskimos"


.PEARY 

CTIC 
JOURNAL 




-*- c 




TAKING ON AN ESKIMO PILOT. 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

A YEAR AMONG ICE-FIELDS AND ESKIMOS 
BY 

JOSEPHINE DIEBITSCH-PEARY 



WITH AN ACCOUNT OF 

THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 

ACROSS GREENLAND 
BY 

ROBERT E. PEARY 

CIVIL ENGINEER, U. S. NAVY 



THE CONTEMPORARY PUBLISHING COMPANY 

NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA 

1893 



Copyright, 1893. 
THE CONTEMPORARY PUBLISHING COMPANY. 



THE OEVINNE PRESS, NEW YORK. 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

On June 6, 1891, the steam-whaler "Kite," which was to 
bear the expedition of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural 
Sciences northward, set sail from the port of New - York, her 
destination being Whale Sound, on the northwest coast of Green- 
land, where it had been determined to pass the winter, prelimi- 
nary to the long traverse of the inland ice which was to solve 
the question of the extension of Greenland in the direction of 
the Pole. The members of the expedition numbered but five 
besides the commander, Mr. Peary, and his wife. They were 
Dr. F. A. Cook, Messrs. Langdon Gibson, Eivind Astrup, and 
John T. Verhocff, and Mr. Peary s faithful colored attendant 
in his surveying labors in Nicaragua, Matthew Henson. This 
was the smallest number that had ever been banded togctlicr 
for extended explorations in the high Arctic zone. A year and 
a quarter after their departure, with the aid of a relief expedi- 
tion conducted by Professor Angelo Heilprin, Mr. Peary's party, 
lacking one of its members, the unfortunate Mr. Vcrhocff, re- 
turned to the American shore. The explorer had traversed 
northern Greenland from coast to coast, and Jiad added a 
remarkable chapter to the history of Arctic exploration. 
The main results of Mr. Peary's journey were : 
The determination of the rapid convergence of the shores of 
Greenland above the 7 8th parallel of latitude, and consequently 
the practical demonstration of the insularity of this great 
land-mass ; 



2 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

The discovery of the existence of ice- free land-masses to the 
northward of Greenland ; and 

The delineation of the northward extension of the great 
Greenland ice -cap. 

In the following pages Mrs. Peary recounts her experiences 
of a full twelvemonth spent on the shores of McCormick Bay, 
midway between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole. The 
Eskimos with whom she came in contact belong to a little tribe 
of about three hundred and fifty individuals, completely isolated 
from the rest of the world. They are separated by hundreds of 
miles from their nearest neighbors, with whom they have no 
intercourse whatever. These people had never seen a white 
woman, and some of them had never beheld a civilized being. 
The opportunities which Mrs. Peary had of observing their 
manners and mode of life have enabled her to make a valuable 
contribution to ethnological learning. 

THE PUBLISHERS. 



PREFACE 

This plain and simple narrative of a year spent by a re- 
fined woman in the realm of the dreaded Frost King has 
been written only after persistent and urgent pressure from 
friends, by one who shrank from publicity, and who reluc- 
tantly yielded to the idea that her experiences might be of 
interest to others besides her immediate friends. 

I have been requested to write a few words of introduc- 
tion ; and while there may be some to whom it might occur 
that I was too much interested to perform this task properly, 
it must nevertheless be admitted that there is probably no 
one better fitted than myself to do it. Little, indeed, need 
be said. 

The feeling that led Mrs. Peary through these experiences 
was first and foremost a desire to be by my side, coupled with 
the conviction that she was fitted physically as well as other- 
wise to share with me a portion at least of the fatigues and 
hardships of the work. I fully concurred in this feeling, and 
yet, in spite of my oft-expressed view that the dangers of life 
and work in the Arctic regions have been greatly exaggerated, 
I cannot but admire her courage. She has been where no 
white woman has ever been, and where many a man has hesi- 
tated to go ; and she has seen phases of the life of the most 



4 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

northerly tribe of human beings on the globe, and in many 
ways has been enabled to get a closer insight into their ways 
and customs than had been obtained before. 

I rarely, if ever, take up the thread of our Arctic expe- 
riences without reverting to two pictures : one is the first 
night that we spent on the Greenland shore after the depar- 
ture of the "Kite," when, in a little tent on the rocks a tent 
which the furious wind threatened every moment to carry 
away bodily she watched by my side as I lay a helpless 
cripple with a broken leg, our small party the only human 
beings on that shore, and the little " Kite," from which we 
had landed, drifted far out among the ice by the storm, and 
invisible through the rain. Long afterward she told me that 
every unwonted sound of the wind set her heart beating with 
the thoughts of some hungry bear roaming along the shore 
and attracted by the unusual sight of the tent ; yet she never 
gave a sign at the time of her fears, lest it should disturb me. 

The other picture is that of a scene perhaps a month or 
two later, when myself still a cripple, but not entirely 
helpless this same woman sat for an hour beside me in the 
stern of a boat, calmly reloading our empty firearms while a 
herd of infuriated walrus about us thrust their savage heads 
with gleaming tusks and bloodshot eyes out of the water 
close to the muzzles of our rifles, so that she could have 
touched them with her hand, in their efforts to get their 
tusks over the gunwale and capsize the boat. I may per- 
haps be pardoned for saying that I never think of these 



PREFACE 5 

two experiences without a thrill of pride and admiration 
for her pluck. 

In reading the pages of this narrative it should be remem- 
bered that within sixty miles of where Kane and his little 
party endured such untold sufferings, within eighty miles of 
where Greely's men one by one starved to death, and within 
less than fifty miles of where Hayes and his party and one 
portion of the " Polaris " party underwent their Arctic trials 
and tribulations, this tenderly nurtured woman lived for a 
year in safety and comfort: in the summer-time climbed 
over the lichen-covered rocks, picking flowers and singing fa- 
miliar home songs, shot deer, ptarmigan, and ducks in the 
valleys and lakes, and even tried her hand at seal, walrus, 
and narwhal in the bays ; and through the long, dark winter 
night, with her nimble fingers and ready woman's insight, 
was of inestimable assistance in devising and perfecting the 
details of the costumes which enabled Astrup and myself to 
make our journey across the great ice-cap in actual comfort. 

Perhaps no greater or more convincing proof than this 
could be desired of what great improvements have been made 
in Arctic methods. That neither Mrs. Peary nor myself re- 
gret her Arctic experiences, or consider them ill-advised, may 
be inferred from the fact that she is once more by my side in 
my effort to throw more light on the great Arctic mystery. 

R. E. PEARY, 

Civil Engineer, U. S. N. 
FALCON HARBOR, BOWDOIN BAY, 

GREENLAND, August 20, 1893. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PAGE 

NORTHWARD BOUND 9 

IN THE MELVILLE BAY PACK 18 

ESTABLISHING OURSELVES 31 

HUNTS AND EXPLORATIONS 41 

BOAT JOURNEYS AND PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER 54 

WINTER UPON Us 65 

ESKIMO VISITORS , 74 

ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 84 

THE NEW YEAR 101 

SUNSHINE AND STORM 112 

SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 124 

THE SLEDGE JOURNEY (Continued} 139 

OFF FOR THE INLAND ICE 147 

WEARY DAYS OF WAITING 156 

MY CAMPING EXPERIENCE IN TOOKTOO VALLEY 168 

" OOMIAKSOAK TlGALAY ! " (THE SHIP HAS COME !) 176 

RETURN OF THE EXPLORERS 182 

BOAT JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 189 

FAREWELL TO GREENLAND 200 

GREENLAND REVISITED 211 

THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 221 



CHAPTER I 

NORTHWARD BOUND 

First Sight of Greenland Frederikshaab Glacier Across the Arctic Circle 
Perpetual Daylight Sunlit Disko The Climb to the Ice-cap Dinner at 
Inspector Anderssen's A Native Dance From Disko to Upernavik Uper- 
navik The Governor and his Wife The Duck Islands Gathering Eggs 
and Eider-down and Shooting Ducks. 

Wednesday, June 24. We have sailed and tossed, have 
broken through the ice-barriers of Belle Isle Straits, and once 
more ride the rolling swells of the broad Atlantic. Our three 
days' jam in the ice has given us a foretaste of Arctic naviga- 
tion, but the good little " Kite" speeds northward with a con- 
fidence which inspires a feeling of security that not even the 
famed " greyhounds of the ocean " afford. Genial Captain 
Pike is on the bridge and off the bridge, and his keen eye is 
casting for the land. When I came on deck to-day I found 
the bold, wild coast of Greenland on the right. It was a 
grand sight the steep, black cliffs, some of them descending 
almost vertically to the sea, their tops covered with dazzling 
snow, and the inland ice flowing through the depressions 
between their summits ; at the foot of the cliffs gleamed bergs 
of various sizes and shapes, some of them a beautiful blue, 
others white as snow. The feature of the day was the 



10 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



Frederikshaab glacier, which comes down to the sea in 
latitude 62 30'. It did not, however, impress me as being 
very grand, owing perhaps to our being so far from it. Its 
face is seventeen miles long, and we could see it like a wall 
of white marble before us. Long after we had passed it, it 
still appeared to be with us, and it kept us company nearly 
all day. Just beyond the glacier was disclosed the most 




Out on the Billowy Sea. 
The First Fragment of Greenland Ice. 

beautiful mountain scenery imaginable. The weather was 
deliciously warm, and revealed to us a new aspect of Arctic 
climate. It seems strange to be sitting on deck in a light 
coat, not even buttoned, and only a cap on my head, in 
the most brilliant sunshine, and gazing on snow-covered 
mountains. 



NORTHWARD BOUND 



II 



Thursday, June 25. We were promised another lovely 
day, but after noon the weather changed and a cool wind 
sprang up, which helped to push our little craft along at a 
good rate. To-night we shall have the midnight sun for the 
first time, and it will be weeks, even months, before he sets 
for us again. Everything on 

. iUimu-\.:,&^agflMk.i.jML 

deck is dripping from the fog 
which has gathered about us. 

Friday, June 26. In spite of 
the thick fog we have been mak- 
ing good time, and expect to be 
in Disko, or more properly God- 
havn, about noon to-morrow. 
We saw our first eider-ducks 
to-day. Numerous bergs again 
gleam up in the distance, prob- 
ably the output of the Jakobs- 
havn glacier. 

Tuesday, June 30. We have 
been in a constant state of ex- 
citement since Saturday morn- 
ing, when we first set foot on 
Greenland's ice-bound shores. The pilot, a half-breed Eskimo, 
came on board and took us into the harbor of Godhavn shortly 
after nine o'clock. Mr. Peary, Captain Pike, Professor Heil- 
prin, and myself went ashore and paid our respects to In- 
spector Anderssen and his family. They were very attentive 




Capt. Richard Pike "On Duty." 



12 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

to us, and invited " Mr. and Mistress Peary " to stay with them 
during their stop in Godhavn a pleasure they were, however, 
compelled to forego. In the afternoon a party of us from the 
" Kite " set out on our first Arctic tramp, our objective point 
being the summit of the lofty basalt cliffs that tower above 
the harbor. My outfit consisted of a red blanket combination 
suit reaching to the knee, long knit stockings, a short eider- 
down flannel skirt reaching to the ankles, and the "kamiks," or 
long-legged moccasins, which I had purchased in Sidney. 
The day was exceptionally fine and sunny, and we started off 
in the best of spirits. Never had I seen so many different 
wild flowers in bloom at once. I could not put my foot down 
without crushing two or three different varieties. Mr. Gibson, 
while chasing a butterfly, slipped and strained the cords of 
his left foot so that he was obliged to return to the ship. 
Never had I stepped on moss so soft and beautiful, all shades 
of green and red, some beds of it covered so thickly with tiny 
pink flowers that you could not put the head of a pin down 
between them. We gathered and pressed as many flowers as 
we could conveniently carry anemones, yellow poppies, 
mountain pinks, various Ericacea, etc. Sometimes our path 
was across snow-drifts, and sometimes we were ankle-deep in 
flowers and moss. Mountain streams came tumbling down in 
every little gully, and their water was so delicious that it 
seemed impossible to cross one of these streams without 
stooping to drink. Our advance was very slow, as we could 
not resist the temptation of constantly stopping to look back 



NORTHWARD BOUND 13 

and feast upon the beauties of the view. Disko Bay, blue as 
sapphire, thickly studded with icebergs of all sizes and beauti- 
fully colored by the sun's rays, lay at our feet, with the little 
settlement of Godhavn on one side and the brown cliffs tower- 
ing over it. As far as the eye could reach, the sea was dotted 
with icebergs, which looked like a fleet of sail-boats. The scene 
was simply indescribable. We reached the summit, at an 
elevation of 2400 feet, and built a cairn, in which we placed a 
tin box containing .a piece of paper with our names written 
upon it, and some American coins. From the summit of 
these cliffs we stepped upon the ice-cap, which seemed to roll 
right down to their tops. The temperature was 91 F. in the 
sun, and 56 in the shade. As we descended a blue mist 
seemed to hang over that part of the cliffs that lay in shadow, 
and the contrast with the white bergs gleaming in the sapphire 
waters below was very striking. We returned to the foot of 
the cliff after eight o'clock. On Sunday we made another ex- 
pedition, to the Blaese Dael, or " windy valley," where a 
beautiful double waterfall comes tumbling through the hard 
rock, into which it has graven a deep channel. We gathered 
more flowers, and collected some seaweed ; the mosquitos, 
of which we had had a foretaste the day before, were ex- 
tremely troublesome, and recalled to memory the shores of 
New Jersey. When we reached the first Eskimo hut, a 
number of the piccaninnies 1 came to me and presented me 

1 The Eskimos frequently designate their children as piccaninnies, a word doubtless 
introduced bv the whalers. 



14 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

with bunches of wild flowers. We gave them some hardtack 
in return, and they were happy. 

Mr. Peary, Professor Heilprin, myself, and two other mem- 
bers of our party dined with the inspector in the evening, 
joining some members of the Danish community, who had 
also been invited. The course consisted of fresh codfish with 
caper-sauce, roast ptarmigan, potatoes boiled and then 
browned; and for dessert, "Rudgrud," a "dump," almonds, 
and raisins. There was, following European custom, a va- 
ried accompaniment of wines. 

After dinner the gentlemen went up-stairs to examine the 
geological and oological collections of the inspector, while the 
ladies preferred the parlor with their coffee. Were it not for 
the outer surroundings, it would have been difficult to realize 
that we were in the distant Arctic realm, so truly homelike 
were the scenes of the little household, and so cheerful the 
little that was necessary to make living here not only com- 
fortable, but pleasant. The entire community numbers barely 
1 20 souls, nine tenths of whom are Eskimos, mainly half- 
breeds ; the remainder are the Danish officials and their 
families, whose recreation lies almost entirely within the little 
circle which they themselves constitute. 

Toward nine o'clock we visited the storehouse, where a 
native ball was in progress. Several of our boys went the 
rounds with the Eskimo " belles," but for me the odor of the 
interior was too strong to permit me to say that looking on 
was an "unalloyed pleasure." The steps were made to the 



NORTHWARD BOUND 15 

music of stringed instruments, over which the resident half- 
breeds have acquired a fair mastery. The participants and 
onlookers were all in a lively frame of mind, but not uproari- 
ous; and at the appointed time of closing ten o'clock all 
traces of hilarity had virtually been banished. 

We had hoped to leave early on the following morning, but 
it was not until near two o'clock that the fog began to lift, 




The Most Northern Outpost of Civilization 
on the Globe Upernavik. 



and that a departure was made possible. Firing the official 
salute, and dipping our colors, we gave three hearty cheers in 
honor of our first Greenland hosts, and sailed out of the rock- 
bound harbor. It soon cleared up, and we were able to make 
our normal seven knots an hour. This morning it was foggy 
for a while, but it cleared up beautifully, and now we are just 
skimming along, and expect to reach Upernavik, the most 
northern of the Danish settlements in Greenland, about nine 
o'clock in the evening. 



1 6 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Thursday, July 2. We did not reach Upernavik until 2.30 
yesterday morning, owing to a very strong current which was 
running against us all the way from Godhavn. We remained 
up all night, and at 1.30 A. M. were enjoying the dazzling 
brightness of the sunshine. Mr. Peary took a number of 
photographs between midnight and morning. Upernavik is a 
very different-looking place from Godhavn. There are four 
frame-houses and a little church. The natives live in turf huts, 
very miserable-looking habitations, built right down in the 
mud. As soon as our ship steamed into the harbor, in 
which two Danish vessels were at anchor, the governor, Herr 
Beyer, came on board with his lieutenant-governor, a young 
fellow who had arrived only three days before. We returned 
the visit at noon, and were pleasantly received by the gover- 
nor and his wife, a charming woman of about thirty years, 
who had been married but a year, and whose fondness for 
home decoration had expressed itself in the pictures, bric-a- 
brac, fancy embroideries, and flowering plants which were 
everywhere scattered about, and helped to make up an ex- 
tremely cozy home. As in all other houses in the country, 
the guests were treated to wine immediately on entering, and 
with a delicate politeness the governor presented me with a 
corsage bouquet of the flowers of Upernavik, neatly tied up 
with the colors of Denmark. Our visit was fruitful in the 
receipt of presents, among which were Eskimo carvings, a 
dozen bottles of native Greenland beer, and a box of "goodies," 
addressed to "Miss Peary," and to be opened, as a reminder, 



NORTHWARD BOUND I/ 

on Christmas eve. The hospitality shown to us could not 
have been more marked had our friendship extended over 
many years. 

Our visit was a brief one, as we were to weigh anchor early 
in the afternoon. We steamed away from Upernavik and 
headed north. The fog had cleared away and disclosed a 
giant mountain towering above us in the harbor. The sun 
shone brightly, and the sea was smooth as glass and blue as 
turquoise. The night promised to be a beautiful one, but I 
resisted the temptation to stay up, having been up the entire 
night before, and the greater part of the one before that. At 
4 A. M. Captain Pike knocked at our door and informed us 
that in half an hour we would be at the Duck Islands. 
Here we were to land and all hands shoot eider-ducks and 
gather their eggs for our winter supply. We were soon on 
shore, and then began a day's sport such as I had often read 
about, but never expected to see. The ducks flew in thick 
flocks all about us, and on every side were nests as large as a 
large hen-nest, made of eider-down and containing from three 
to six eggs. The nests were not hidden, but right out on the 
rocks in full sight. Alas ! we were too late ; the ducks were 
breeding, and out of 960 eggs we did not get over 1 50 good 
ones. As I had not taken my gun, I spent the time in gath- 
ering down, and collected forty-three pounds in five hours. 
After returning to the " Kite " for breakfast, we visited a 
second island, and there I bagged a bird, much to my satis- 
faction. Altogether ninety-six ducks were shot. 



CHAPTER II 

IN THE MELVILLE BAY PACK 

Melville Bay On the Edge of the Dreaded Ice-pack Fourth of July Butting 
the Ice Accident to the Leader of the Expedition Gloom on the "Kite" 
Blasting the " Kite " out of a Nip A Real Bear and a Bear Hunt A Chase on 
the Ice A Phantom Ship Free of the Pack and in the North Water at Last 
The Greenland Shore to Barden Bay First Sight of the Arctic Highlanders. 

Thursday, July 2. We are opposite the " Devil's Thumb," 
latitude 74 20', and now, at 8 P. M., are slowly making 
our way through the ice which marks the entrance into the 
Melville Bay "pack." 

Friday, July 3. At midnight the engine was stopped, the 
ice being too thick for the " Kite " to make any headway. 
At 6.30 A. M. we started again, and rammed our way along 
for an hour, but were again forced to stop. At eleven o'clock 
we tried it once more, but after a couple of hours came to a 
standstill. We remained in this condition until after five 
o'clock, when the engine was again started. For two hours 
we made fairly good progress, and we thought that we should 
soon be in open water, but a small neck of very heavy ice 
stopped us. While we were on deck, the mate in the "crow's- 
nest," which was hoisted to-day, sang out, "A bear! A bear!" 
Off in the distance we could see an object floating, or rather 



IN THE MELVILLE BAY PACK 



swimming, in the water, and in a minute the boys were climb- 
ing helter-skelter over the sides of the " Kite," all with guns, 
although some soon discovered that theirs were not loaded ; 
but the bear turned out to be a seal, and 
not one of about thirty shots hit him. 
It is now nearly 1 1 P. M. The sun is 
shining beautifully, and it is perfectly 
calm. I have worn only a gray spring 
jacket, which I have found sufficient for 
the balmy temperature. At midnight 
the cannon was fired, the flags were 
run up and dipped, and the boys fired 
their rifles and gave three cheers for 
the Fourth of July. The thermometer 
marked 31. 

Saturday, July 4. The ice remains 
stubborn, and we are fast bound. All 
around the eye sees nothing but the 
immovable pack, here smooth as a table, 
at other places tossed up into long hum- 
mock-ridges which define the individual 
ice-cakes. Occasional lanes of water 
appear and disappear, and their presence gives us the one 
hope of an early disentanglement. The event of the day has 
been a dinner to Captain Pike, in which most of the members 
of our party participated. After dinner hunting-parties scoured 
the ice after seals, with the result of bringing in two speci- 




; A Bear ! A Bear ! " 



2O MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

mens, one weighing twenty-six pounds, and the other thirty- 
three pounds. 

Sunday, July 5. All night we steamed along slowly, but at 
8 A. M. we were forced once more to stop. The day has been 
very disagreeable, foggy, rainy, and even snowy. We have 
done nothing but eat and sleep. A lazily hovering ivory- 
gull, which ventured within near gunshot, has been added to 
our collections. 

Tuesday, July 7. The weather yesterday was dreary and 
disagreeable, but to-day it seems warmer. The snow has 
ceased falling, although the sky is still overcast, and the fog 
prevents us from seeing the horizon. At noon the sun came 
through the clouds for a few moments, and the fog lifted 
sufficiently for the captain to make an observation and find 
that our position was latitude 74 51'. During the afternoon 
the wind died down, and an attempt was made to get through 
the ice ; but after boring and ramming the immovable pack 
for nearly an hour, and gaining only a ship's length, we con- 
cluded that we were burning coal for nothing. Mr. Peary, 
with Gibson, Astrup, Cook, and Matt, has been busy all the 
afternoon sawing, marking, and fitting the lumber for our 
Whale Sound cottage. The curing of a large number of 
drake-skins, intended to be made up into undershirts for 
winter wear, was a part of the day's work. 

Thursday, July 9. Yesterday and to-day the fog lifted 
sufficiently at times to permit us to see the land, about forty 
miles distant. A good observation places us in latitude 74 



IN THE MELVILLE BAY PACK 



21 



51', and longitude about 60 W. Mr. Peary fixed the points 
with his pocket sextant and the ship's compass, and then made 
a sketch of the headlands. The ice looks rotten, but yet it 
holds together too firmly to permit us to force a passage. 
We measured some of the 
floes, and found the thickest 
to be two and a half feet. It 
has seemed very raw to-day, 
owing largely to a slight north- 
west wind ; and for the first 
time the average temperature 
has been below the freezing- 
point, being 31^ F. 

Friday, July I O. This morn- 
ing the rigging was covered 
with hoar-frost, making the 
"Kite" look like a "phantom 
ship." The fog hung heavily 
about us, shutting 
out the land com- 
pletely. In the 
forenoon a sound- ^_ 

ing was made, but Sailing Through the Pack. 

no bottom was found at 343 fathoms. While we were at din- 
ner, without any warning the " Kite " began to move, steam 
was immediately gotten up, and for an hour and a half we cut 
our way through the ice, which had become very rotten, large 




22 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

floes splitting into several pieces as soon as they were struck 
by the "Kite." We made about three knots, when we 
were again obliged to halt on account of a lowering fog. 
Our little move was made just in time to keep up the cour- 
age of some of the West Greenland party, who were begin- 
ning to believe that we should be nipped and kept here for 
the winter. 

Although we realized that we were still ice-bound in the 
great and much-dreaded Melville Bay pack, we could not but 
enjoy at times the peculiar features of our forced imprison- 
ment. Efforts to escape, with full promise of success, followed 
by a condition of impotency and absolute relaxation, would 
alternately elevate and depress our spirits to the extent of 
casting joy and gloom into the little household. The novelty 
of the situation, however, helped greatly to keep up a good 
feeling, and all despondency was immediately dispelled by the 
sound of the order to " fire up," and the dull rumbling of the 
bell-metal propeller. We never tired of watching our little 
craft cut her way through the unbroken pans of ice. The 
great masses of ice were thrust aside very readily ; sometimes 
a piece was split from a large floe and wedged under a still 
larger one, pushing this out of the way, the commotion caus- 
ing the ice in the immediate vicinity fairly to boil. Then we 
would run against an unusually hard, solid floe that would not 
move when the " Kite " struck it, but let her ride right up on 
it and then allow her gradually to slide off and along the edge 
until she struck a weak place, when the floe would be shivered 



IN THE MELVILLE BAY PACK 23 

just as a sheet of glass is shivered when struck a sharp, hard 
blow. The pieces were hurled against and on top of other 
pieces, crashing and splashing about until it seemed as though 
the ice must be as thick again as it was before the break-up ; 
but the good old " Kite " pushed them aside, leaving them in 
the distance groaning and creaking at having been disturbed. 
The day has been pleasant, in spite of an average tempera- 
ture of 27 1 / 2 . 

Tuesday, July 14. How different everything looks to us 
since I last wrote in this journal ! Saturday the weather was, 
as usual, cold and foggy; and when, at 5.30 P. M., we found 
ourselves suddenly moving, every one was elated, hoping we 
would be able to get into the clear water ahead, which the 
mate said could be seen from the crow's-nest. Mr. Peary was 
particularly pleased, as he said we should then reach Whale 
Sound by July 15, the limit he had set for getting there. 
After supper he and I bundled up and went on deck, and 
watched the " Kite " cut through the rotten ice like butter. 
We had been on the bridge for some time, when Mr. Peary 
left me to warm his feet in the cabin. Coming on deck again, 
he stepped for a moment behind the wheel-house, and im- 
mediately after, I saw the wheel torn from the grasp of the two 
helmsmen, whirling around so rapidly that the spokes could 
not be seen. One of the men was thrown completely over 
it, but on recovering himself he stepped quickly behind the 
house, and I instantly realized that something must have hap- 
pened to my husband. How I got to him I do not know, but 



24 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

I reached him before any one else, and found him standing on 
one foot looking pale as death. " Don't be frightened, dear- 
est; I have hurt my leg," was all he said. Mr. Gibson and 
Dr. Sharp helped, or rather carried, him down into the cabin 
and laid him on the table. He was ice-cold, and while I 
covered him with blankets, our physicians gave him whisky, 
cut off his boot, and cut open his trousers. They found that 
both bones of the right leg had been fractured between the 
knee and the ankle. The leg was put into a box and padded 
with cotton. The fracture being what the doctors pronounced 
a " good one," it was not necessary to have the bones pulled 
into place. Poor Bert suffered agonies in spite of the fact that 
the doctors handled him as tenderly as they could. We found 
it impossible to get him into our state-room, so a bed was 
improvised across the upper end of the cabin, and there my 
poor sufferer lies. He is as good and patient as it is possible 
to be under the circumstances. The accident happened in 
this way. The " Kite " had been for some time pounding, 
or, as the whalers say, " butting," a passage through the ice, 
slowly but steadily forging a way through the spongy sheets 
which had already for upward of a week imprisoned her. 
To gain strength for every assault it was necessary constantly 
to reverse, and it was during one of these evolutions, when 
going astern, that a detached cake of ice struck the rudder, 
crowding the iron tiller against the wheel-house where Mr. 
Peary was standing, and against his leg, which it held pinned 
long enough for him to hear it snap. 



IN THE MELVILLE BAY PACK 25 

Wednesday, July 15. Mr. Peary passed a fairly comfortable 
night, and had a good sleep without morphine to-day, conse- 
quently he feels better. As for myself, I could not keep up 
any longer, and at 1 1 A. M., after Dr. Cook had dressed the 
leg and made an additional splint, I lay down, and neither 
moved nor heard a sound until after five o'clock. This was 
the first sleep I have had since Friday night. Dr. Cook, who 
has been more than attentive, has made a pair of crutches for 
the poor sufferer, but he will not be able to use them for a 
month. 

We find to-day that our latitude is 75 i', and our longi- 
tude 60 9' ; consequently our headway has been very slow. 
It seems as if when the ice is loose the fog is too thick for us 
to travel in safety, and when the fog lifts the ice closes in 
around us. Once to-day the ice suddenly opened and a crack 
which visibly widened allowed us to make nearly four miles 
in one stretch. Throughout much of the night and day we 
steamed back and forth and hither and thither, trying to get 
through or around the ice, and to prevent the " Kite " from 
getting nipped between two floes. A little after supper the 
fog suddenly closed in upon us, and before we could com- 
plete the passage of a narrow and tortuous lead, through 
which we were seeking escape from the advancing floes in our 
rear, we were caught fast between two large pans. The ice 
was only about fourteen inches thick, and there was but little 
danger of the " Kite " being crushed.; still, Captain Pike, with 
the memories of former disasters fresh in his mind, did not 



26 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

relish the situation, and blasted our way out with gunpowder 
at 8.15 P. M. This is our first "nip." 

An hour later the captain called down to me to come up at 
once, as a bear was advancing toward the ship. The boys had 
been watching and longing for a bear ever since we left New- 
York, and many false alarms had been given ; but here was a 
real live polar coming straight for the " Kite." A very, very 
pretty sight he was, with black snout, black eyes, and black- 
toes. Against the white snow and ice, he seemed to be of a 
cream color. His head was thrown up as he loped along to- 
ward us, and when, within a short distance of the " Kite," a 
gull flew over his head, he made a playful jump at it, all un- 
conscious of the doom which awaited him. Eleven men with 
guns were stooping down on the quarter-deck waiting for the 
captain to give the word to fire. A bullet disabled one of the 
fore legs, while another struck the animal in the head, instantly 

dyeing it crimson ; 
the bear stopped short, 
wheeled round, fell 
over on his head, and 
then got up. By this 
. time it was simply rain- 
Bruin at Rest. ing bullets about the 
poor beast ; still he staggered on toward the water. Gib- 
son, who had jumped on the ice as soon as he fired, was 
now close to him, and, just as he started to swim away, put 
a ball in his neck, which stopped him short. A boat was low- 




IN THE MELVILLE BAY PACK 2J 

ered, and he was brought alongside the "Kite." He measured 
seven feet one inch in length, and we estimated his weight at 
from eight to ten hundred pounds. 

Friday, July 17. Last night was the worst night my poor 
husband has had. His leg pained him more than it had done 
so far, and he begged me to give him a sedative, which, with 
the doctor's consent, I did ; but even then his sleep was dis- 
turbed to such an extent that it amounted to delirium. He 
would plead with me to do something for his leg. After doing 
everything I could think of, I said, " Can't you tell me where 
it hurts you most, and what you think might help you?" 
His answer was, " Oh, my dear, pack it in ice until some one 
can shoot it ! " In this way he spent the night, and this morn- 
ing he was thoroughly exhausted. Dr. Cook has succeeded 
in making his leg more comfortable, and now he sleeps. It 
seems very hard that I cannot take him away to some place 
where he can rest in peace. 

Tuesday, July 21. Since last writing in my journal, four 
days ago, we have been steadily nearing Cape York, and we 
hope soon to clear the ice of Melville Bay, and pass into 
the open North Water beyond. Our hopes have, however, 
so often been disappointed that day by day, even when in full 
view of the land, we become less and less confident of ever 
being able to disengage ourselves from our confinement. 
Huge grounded bergs still hold the ice together, and until 
they show signs of moving there is little prospect of a general 
break-up. 



28 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

On Saturday a bear with two cubs was' seen on the ice 
ahead of us, and immediately every man was over the side of 
the vessel making for the animals. The mother, with a tender 
affection for her young, guided an immediate retreat, herself 
taking the rear, and alternately inciting the one cub and 
then the other to more rapid movement. Our boys were 
wholly unacquainted with the art of rapid traveling on the 
rough and hummocky ice, and before long the race was ad- 
mitted to be a very unequal one ; they were all quickly 
distanced. One of the men, in the excitement of the moment, 
joined in the chase without his gun, and, even without this 
implement, when he returned to the " Kite " he was so out of 
breath that he had to be hauled up the sides of the vessel like 
a dead seal. He lay sprawling and breathless on the deck 
for at least five minutes, much to the merriment of the crew 
and the more fortunate members of the party. A round 
weight of over two hundred pounds was responsible for his 
discomfiture. Monday morning about two o'clock the fog 
suddenly lifted, and we found ourselves almost upon the land. 
The visible shore extended from Cape York to Wolstenholme 
Island, and we could clearly distinguish Capes Dudley Diggs 
and Atholl. I held a looking-glass over the open skylight in 
such a way that Mr. Peary could see something of the outline 
of the coast. Poor fellow! he wanted to go on deck so badly, 
thinking that if he were strapped to a board he could be 
moved in safety, but the doctor persuaded him to give up the 
thought. As the doctors have all agreed that in six months 



IN THE MELVILLE BAY PACK 29 

his leg will be as good as it ever was, he refuses to consider 
the idea of returning on the "Kite"; as for myself, now 
that we have started, I want to keep on too. The air is 
almost black with flocks of the little auk, and a party on the 
ice to-day brought in sixteen birds in a very short time. 

Wednesday, July 22. Drs. Hughes and Sharp brought in 
sixty-four birds as the result of an all-night catch. We are still 
in the ice, with no signs of our getting out, although the cap- 
tain says we have drifted twenty miles to the northward since 
Monday morning. We are now abreast of Conical Rock. 
Second Mate Dunphy has just reported seeing from the crow's- 
nest a steamer off Cape York, but it is not visible to the 
naked eye, and we'are in doubt as to what it is. 

Friday, July 24. The steamer did not materialize ; either 
the mate was mistaken or the vessel drifted away from us. 
The ice parted early yesterday morning, much to everybody's 
relief, and we have since been pushing steadily on our course. 
The long line of table-topped bergs off Cape York, some of 
which measured not less than two hundred to three hundred feet 
in height, and perhaps considerably over a mile in length, is 
visibly moving over to the American waters, and to this dis- 
rupting force we are doubtless largely indebted for our libera- 
tion. The scenery of this portion of the Greenland coast is 
surpassingly fine. The steep red-brown cliffs are frequently 
interrupted by small glaciers reaching down to the water's 
edge. The entrance to Wolstenholme Sound, guarded as it 
was by huge bergs, was particularly beautiful. Saunders 



3O MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Island in the distance, and Dalrymple Rock immediately in 
the foreground, stood up like great black giants, contrasting 
with the snow-white bergs surrounding them and the red cliffs 
of the mainland on either side. Whenever anything particu- 
larly striking or beautiful appears, I am called on deck, and 
with my hand-glass placed at the open transom over Mr. 
Peary's head, manage to give him a faint glimpse of our sur- 
roundings. At nine o'clock this evening we rounded Cape 
Parry, and about ten o'clock stopped at the little Eskimo 
village of Netchiolumy in Barden Bay, where we hoped to 
obtain a native house, sledge, kayak, and various native 
utensils and implements for the World's Columbian Expo- 
sition. Our search-party found only three houses in the 
settlement, and the lonely inhabitants numbered six adults 
and five children ; five dogs added life to the solitude. These 
people had quantities of sealskins and narwhal tusks, many of 
which were obtained in exchange for knives, saws, files, and 
tools in general. Wood of any kind, to be used in the con- 
struction of sledges, kayak frames, and spear- and harpoon- 
shafts, was especially in demand ; they cared nothing for our 
woven clothing, nor for articles of simple show and finery. 
We stopped this morning at Herbert Island, where we had 
hoped to visit a native graveyard, but no graves were found. 



CHAPTER III 

ESTABLISHING OURSELVES 

Arrival at McCormick Bay Selecting the Site for the House Temporary 
Quarters Hurrying the Erection of the House White Whales Departure 
of the " Kite " Alone on the Arctic Shore A Summer Storm Arctic Pic- 
nicking The First Birthday and the First Deer Birthday-dinner Menu 
Departure of the Boat Party for Hakluyt and Northumberland Islands after 
Birds and Eskimos Occupations during their Absence Return of the Party 
with an Eskimo Family. 

Sunday, July 26. Mr. Peary is getting along nicely. His 
nights are fairly comfortable, and consequently he feels much 
better by day ; his back now troubles him more than his leg. 
Yesterday morning at three o'clock he was awakened and told 
that the ice prevented our getting to Cape Acland, and that 
we were just abreast of McCormick Bay, and could not pro- 
ceed further into the sound. He accordingly decided to put 
up our quarters on the shores of this bay. It was now a ques- 
tion as to which side of the bay would be most favorable for a 
home. At 9 A. M., together with several members of our party, 
I rowed over to the southeast shore, and walked along the 
coast for about three miles, prospecting for a site, and made 
a provisional choice of what seemed a desirable knoll. We 
returned to the " Kite " about noon. After dinner Professor 
Heilprin, Dr. Cook, Astrup, and three others went over to 



32 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

the other shore, and toward evening they returned with the 
report that the place was perfectly desolate and not at all 
suitable for a camp. After supper we returned to the southeast 
shore to see if we could improve on the location selected in the 
morning, but after tramping for miles came back to the old site. 
While it cannot in truth be said that the spot is a specially 
attractive one, it would be equally untrue to describe it as 
being entirely devoid of charm or attraction. Flowers bloom 
in abundance on all sides, and their varied colors, white, 
pink, and yellow, scattered through a somewhat somber 
base of green, picture a carpet of almost surpassing beauty. 
Rugged cliffs of sandstone, some sixteen hundred to eighteen 
hundred feet high, in which the volcanic forces have built up 
long black walls of basalt, rise steeply behind us, and over 
their tops the eternal ice-cap is plainly visible. Only a few 
paces from the base of the knoll are the silent and still par- 
tially ice-covered waters of the bay, which extends five miles 
or more over to the opposite shore, and perhaps three times 
that distance eastward to its termination. A number of 
lazy icebergs still stand guard between us and the open 
waters of the western horizon, where the gray and ice- 
flecked bluffs of Northumberland and Hakluyt Islands dis- 
appear from sight. 

This morning the members of our party went ashore with 
pickaxes and shovels, and they are now digging the founda- 
tions of our "cottage by the sea." They are also putting up 
a tent for our disabled commander, whence he can super- 




- 



ESTABLISHING OURSELVES 



33 



intend the erection of the structure. The men are working in 
their undershirts and trousers, and it is quite warm enough for 
me to stay on deck without a wrap, even when I am not exer- 
cising; yet, if we had this temperature at home, we should con- 
sider it decidedly cool. I have had oil-stoves taken ashore for 
the purpose of heating the tent in case it becomes necessary. 
Wednesday, July 29. The last three days have been busy 
ones for me, being obliged to attend to all the packing and 




unpacking myself, be- 
sides waiting on Mr. 
Peary. Monday, after 
Our "Cottage by the Sea." dinner, the boys finished 

digging the foundations. Mr. Peary was then strapped to a 
board, and four men carried him from the " Kite " into a boat. 
After crossing the bay he was carried up to the tent just 
back of where the house is being erected, and placed on 
a rough couch. He is near enough to superintend the work, 
and everything is progressing favorably. 

Last night was a queer one for me. All the boys slept on 
board the " Kite," leaving me entirely alone with my crippled 



34 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

husband in the little shelter-tent on the south shore of 
McCormick Bay. I had forgotten to have my rifle brought 
ashore, and I could not help thinking what would be the best 
thing for me to do in case an unwelcome visitor in the shape 
of a bear should take it into his head to poke his nose into 
the tent. While I was lying awake, imagining all sorts of 
things, I heard most peculiar grunts and snorts coming from 
the direction of the beach, and on looking out saw a school of 
white whale playing in the water just in front of our tent. 
They seemed to be playing tag, chasing each other and diving 
and splashing just like children in the water. I was surprised 
at their graceful movements as they glided along, almost 
coming up on the beach at times. The night passed unevent- 
fully, but I decided to have Matt sleep on shore to-night, 
should the others go on board the " Kite " again. In case of 
a sudden wind-storm I could not steady the tent alone, and 
some one ought to be within calling distance. 

As the members of the returning party come to bid us 
good-by it makes me feel very, very homesick; but a year 
will soon pass, and then we too shall return home. The pro- 
fessor has kindly offered to see mama, and do for her what 
he can in the way of keeping her posted. 

Early Thursday morning, July 30, those of our party who 
had slept aboard ship that is, all except Mr. Peary, Matt, and 
myself were aroused and told they must " pull for the 
shore," as the " Kite " was going to turn her nose toward 



ESTABLISHING OURSELVES 35 

home. Not being accustomed to the duties of housekeeper 
and nurse, I was so completely tired out that I slept soundly 
and knew nothing of the cheers and farewell salutes which 
passed between the little party who were to remain in the far 
North, and those on board the " Kite," who would bring our 
friends the only tidings of us until our return in '92. Mr. 
Peary remarked on the cheerfulness of our men. Less than 
five minutes after the boat grated on the beach he heard the 
sound of the hammer and the whistling of the boys. 

Three or four hours after the " Kite " left McCormick Bay 
a furious wind and rain storm swept down upon us from the 
cliffs back of our house. The boys continued the work on 
the roof as long as possible, hoping to be able to get the 
whole house under cover, but the fury of the storm was such 
as to make it impossible for them to keep their foothold on 
the rafters, and they were obliged to seek shelter under what 
there was of the roof. At meal-time they all crowded in our 
little 7 x 10 canvas tent, sitting on boxes and buckets, and 
holding their mess-pans in their laps. These I supplied with 
baked beans, stewed corn, stewed tomatoes, and corned beef, 
from the respective pots in which they had been prepared. 
The rain dashed against the tent, and the wind rocked it to 
and fro. Every little while one of the guy-ropes would snap 
with a sound like the report of a pistol, and one of the boys 
would have to put his dinner on the ground and go out 
into the storm and refasten it, for these ropes were all that 
kept our little tent from collapsing. The meal completed, 



36 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

the boys returned to the house, where they had more room, 
even if they were not more comfortable. 

I never shall forget this wretched night following the de- 
parture of the "Kite." The stream which rushed down the 
sides of the cliffs divided just back of the tent, and one arm 
of it went round while the other came through our little 
shelter. The water came with such force that in a few 
moments it had made a furrow down the middle of the tent 
floor several inches deep and nearly the entire width of the 
floor space, through which it rushed and roared. All night 
long I was perched tailor-fashion on some boxes, expecting 
every moment to see the tent torn from its fastenings and the 
disabled man lying by my side exposed to the fury of the 
storm. Our only comfort, and one for which we were duly 
thankful, was that during this " night " of storm we had con- 
stant daylight; in other words, it was just as light at two 
o'clock in the morning as it was at two o'clock in the after- 
noon. When it was time for breakfast, I lighted the oil-stove, 
which I had fished out of the water just as it was about to 
float away, and made some coffee, and we breakfasted on 
coffee, biscuit, and corned beef. 

This state of affairs continued until the afternoon, when 
the storm finally abated and the boys began work again on 
the roof. The water in the tent subsided, and by putting 
pieces of plank down I could again move about without sink- 
ing into the mud, and I at once set to work to get the boys a 
square meal. 



ESTABLISHING OURSELVES 37 

By Saturday morning our habitation was under cover, the 
stove put up temporarily, with the stovepipe through one of 
the spaces left for a window, and a fire made from the blocks 
and shavings that had escaped the flood. The house was 
soon comparatively dry, at least it did not seem damp when 
compared with the interior of the tent, and Mr. Peary was 
carried in and placed on a bed composed of boxes of pro- 
visions covered with blankets. Although we had no doors or 
windows in place, we felt that it might rain and storm as 
much as it pleased, and it would not interfere with finishing up 
the house and getting the meals, two very important items 
for us just then. 

Gradually our home began to have a finished appearance : 
the inside sheathing was put on, and the doors and windows 
put in place. We had no more violent wind-storms, but it 
rained every day for over a week. At last, on August 8, 
there was no rain ; and, as it was Matt's birthday, Mr. Peary 
told the boys after lunch to take their rifles and bring in a 
deer. One of the rules of our Arctic home was that each 
member's birthday should be celebrated by such a dinner as 
he might choose from our stock of provisions. Before going 
out Matt chose his menu, which I was to prepare while the 
hunters were gone. The plum-duff, however, he mixed him- 
self, as he had taken lessons from the cook on board the 
" Kite." After every one had gone, Mr. Peary surprised me 
by saying he intended to get up and come into the room 
where I was preparing the dinner. Only the day before the 



38 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

doctor had taken his leg out of the box and put it in splints, 
and he had been able for the first time since July 1 1 to turn 
on his side. I tried to persuade him to lie still for another 
day, but when I saw that he had set his heart on making the 
effort, I bandaged up the limb and helped him to dress. 
Then I brought him the crutches which Dr. Cook had made 
while we were still on board the ship, and with their aid he 
came slowly into the other room. Here, through the open 
door, he could watch the waves as they rose and fell on the 
beach about one hundred yards distant, while I prepared the 
"feast." The bill of fare that Matt selected was as follows: 

Mock-turtle soup. 
Stew of little auk with green peas. 

Broiled breasts of eider-duck. 

Boston baked beans, corn, tomatoes. 

Apricot pie, plum-duff with brandy sauce. 

Sliced peaches. 

Coffee. 

With the soup I served a cocktail made by Mr. Peary after 
a recipe of his own, and henceforth known by our little party 
as " Redcliffe House cocktail " ; with the stew, two bottles of 
" Liebfrauenmilch " ; and with the rest of the dinner, " Sau- 
terne." About five o'clock we heard the shouts of the boys, 
and on going out I saw them coming down the cliffs heavily 
laden with some bulky objects. I rushed in and reported the 
facts in the case to Mr. Peary, who immediately said, " They are 



ESTABLISHING OURSELVES 39 

bringing in a deer. Oh, I must get out ! " So out he hobbled, 
and to the corner of the house, where he had a good view of 
the returning hunters. As soon as he saw them he said, "Get 
me my kodak. Quick ! " and before the boys had recovered 
from their surprise at seeing Mr. Peary, whom they had left 
confined to his bed, standing on three legs at the corner of 
the house, the first hunting-party sent out from Redcliffe had 
been immortalized by the ever-present camera. The boys 
were jubilant over their success, and brought back appetites 
that did justice to the dinner which was now nearly ready. 
At six o'clock we all sat down at the rude table, constructed 
by the boys out of the rough boards left from the house, and 
just large enough to accommodate our party of seven. We 
had not yet had time to make chairs, so boxes were sub- 
stituted, and we managed very nicely. We had no table-cloth, 
and all our dishes were of tin, yet a merrier party never sat 
down to a table anywhere. Three days afterward we repeated 
the feasting part of the day, with a variation in the bill of 
fare, in honor of the third anniversary of our marriage, and 
this time we sampled the venison, which we found so de- 
licious that the boys were more eager than ever to lay in 
a stock for the winter. 

The next day, August 12, Mr. Peary sent all the boys, ex- 
cept Matt, in one of our whale-boats, the "Faith," to search 
Herbert and Northumberland Islands for an Eskimo settle- 
ment, and if possible to induce a family to move over and 
settle down near Redcliffe House. The man could show us 



40 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

the best hunting-grounds, and assist in bagging all kinds 
of game, while the woman could attend to making our skin 
boots, or kamiks, and keeping them in order. They were also 
instructed to visit the loomeries, as the breeding places of the 
birds are called, and bring back as many birds as possible. 

During their absence Matt was at work on our protection 
wall of stone and turf around Redcliffe, and Mr. Peary busied 
himself as best he could in making observations for time, 
taking photographs, and pressing flowers and other botanical 
specimens which I gathered for him. He even ventured part 
of the way up the cliffs at the back of the house, but this was 
slow and laborious work. The ground was so soft that his 
crutches would sink into it sometimes as much as two feet. 
The weather continued bright and balmy, and I did not feel 
the necessity of even a light wrap while rambling over the 
hills. What I did long for was an old-fashioned sunbonnet 
made of some bright-colored calico, and stiffened with strips 
of pasteboard, for the sun was burning my face and neck very 
badly. The boys returned at the end of a week, bringing 
with them a native man named Ikwa ; his wife, Mane ; and 
two children, both little girls Anadore, aged two years and 
six months, and a baby of six months, whom we called Noyah 
(short for Nowyahrtlik). 



CHAPTER IV 

HUNTS AND EXPLORATIONS 

Ikwaand his Family Present of a Mirror August Walrus Hunt Preparations 
for Sending out the Depot Party Departure for Head of McCormick Bay 
First Herd of Reindeer Exciting Experiences in Tooktoo Valley Packing 
the Things up the Bluffs The Inland Ice Party Off Return to Redcliffe 
A Foretaste of Winter. 

These Eskimos were the queerest, dirtiest-looking indi- 
viduals I had ever seen. Clad entirely in furs, they reminded 
me more of monkeys than of human beings. Ikwa, the man, 
was about five feet two or three inches in height, round as a 
dumpling, with a large, smooth, fat face, in which two little 
black eyes, a flat nose, and a large expansive mouth were 
almost lost. His coarse black hair was allowed to straggle in 
tangles over his face, ears, and neck, to his shoulders, without 
any attempt at arrangement or order. His body was covered 
with a garment made of birdskins, called by the natives 
" ahtee," the feathers worn next the body, and outside of this 
a garment made of sealskin with the fur on the outside, called 
" netcheh." These garments, patterned exactly alike, were 
made to fit to the figure, cut short at the hips, and coming to 
a point back and front ; a close-fitting hood was sewed to the 
neck of each garment, and invariably pulled over his head 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



when he was out of doors. His legs were covered with seal- 
skin trousers, or " nanookies," reaching just below the knee, 
where they were met by the tanned sealskin boots, called by 
the natives "kamiks." We learned later that sealskin trousers 

--, were worn only by 
those men who were 
not fortunate enough 
or able to kill a bear. 
In winter these men 
wear dogskin trousers, 
which are as warm as 
those made of bear- 
skin, but not nearly so 
stylish. Winter and 
summer the men wear 
stockings reaching to 
the knee, made of the 
fur of the Arctic hare. 
At first I thought 
the woman's dress was 
identical with that of 
the man, and it puz- 
zled me to tell one from 

Mane and Anadore. the Other ; but in a 

day or two I had made out the many little differences in the 
costumes. The woman, like the man, wore the ahtee and 
netcheh made respectively of the birdskins and sealskin. 




HUNTS AND EXPLORATIONS 43 

They differed in pattern from those of the man only in the 
back, where an extra width is sewed in, which forms a pouch 
extending the entire length of the back of the wearer, and 
fitting tight around the hips. In this pouch or hood the baby 
is carried: its little body, covered only by a shirt reaching to 
the waist, made of the skin of a young blue fox, is placed 
against the bare back of the mother; and the head, covered by 
a tight-fitting skull-cap made of sealskin, is allowed to rest 
against the mother's shoulder. In this way the Eskimo child 
is carried constantly, whether awake or asleep, and without 
clothing except the shirt and cap, until it can walk, which is 
usually at the age of two years ; then it is clothed in skins, 
exactly as the father if it is a boy, or like the mother if a girl, 
and allowed to toddle about. If it is the youngest member 
of the family, after it has learned to walk it still takes its place 
in the mother's hood whenever it is sleepy or tired, just as 
American mothers pick up their little toddlers and rock them. 

The woman's trousers, or nanookies, are made of foxskin, 
and are hardly anything more than " trunks " ; these are met 
by the long-legged boots, or kamiks, made of tanned sealskin, 
and the long stockings, or " allahsy," of reindeer fur. Alto- 
gether this family appeared fully as strange to us as we did 
to them. They had never before seen woven material, and 
could not seem to understand the texture, insisting that it was 
the skin of some animal in America. 

They brought their dog, a sledge, a tent, a kayak (or canoe), 
and all their housekeeping utensils and articles of furniture, 



44 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

which consisted of two or three deerskins, on which the family 
slept ; a stove made of soapstone and shaped like our dust-pans, 
in which they burned seal fat, using dried moss as a wick ; and 
a dish or pot made of the same material, which they hung 
over their stove, and in which they melted the ice for drinking 
purposes and also heated their seal and walrus meat (I say 
heated, for we would hardly call it cooked when they take it 
out of the water). The skin tent put up, and these articles 
put in place, the house was considered furnished and ready 
for occupancy. Wood being almost impossible to procure, the 
tent was put up with narwhal tusks, which are more plentiful 
and answer the purpose. The tent itself is made of sealskin 
tanned and sewed together with narwhal sinews. These peo- 
ple were very curious to see the white woman, who, they were 
given to understand, was in the American " igloo " (house) ; 
and when Mr. Peary and I came out, they looked at both of 
us, and then Ikwa asked, " Soonah koonah ? " Of course we 
did not know then what he wanted, but he soon made us 
understand that he wished to know which one of the two was 
the woman. I delighted him, and won his lasting favor, by 
making him a present of a knife. His wife, Mane, was almost 
overwhelmed by a gift of some needles ; while Anadore, the 
elder of the two children, amused herself by making faces at 
her image in a small mirror that I had presented to her. It 
was the first time these people had seen themselves, and the 
parents were as much amused as the children. They asked 
many questions, but as we could not understand them any 



HUNTS AND EXPLORATIONS 



45 



more than they knew what we were talking about, the whole 
conversation was decidedly more amusing than instructive. 
Later in the day the boys launched the whale-boat, and Mr. 
Peary, Gibson, Verhoeff, Matt, and myself, with our new man 
Ikwa, went down to Cape Cleveland, two and a half miles 
from Redcliffe, where the boys had beached a walrus killed by 
them while crossing Murchison Sound. It was very interest- 
ing to watch Ikwa cut 
up this enormous ani- 
mal, weighing more 
than 1 500 pounds, with 
an ordinary six-inch 
pocket-knife. So pre- 
cisely did he know just 
where every joint was, 
that not once did he 
strike a bone, but cut 
the entire animal up 
into pieces which could 
be easily handled by 
one man, as though 
it had been boneless. 
This done, the pieces 

were packed in the Ikwa and his Quarry. 

boat, preparatory to taking them to Redcliffe. Here at Cape 
Cleveland we found the grass very green, and in places 
over two feet high. This unusual growth is explained by the 




46 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

presence of blubber caches, seal caches, and the ruins of an 
Eskimo village. We gathered many flowers, among which the 
yellow Arctic poppy was the most prominent, and also shot a 
number of little auk and a few gulls and eider-ducks. Mr. 
Peary hobbled along the beach on his crutches, around the 
cape, and had his first view up Whale Sound and Inglefield 
Gulf. On our return to Redcliffe, all the meat was hung up 
back of the house to be used in the winter for dog-food and 
as an occasional treat for our Eskimo family. It was a little 
too strong for our taste, and we decided we would resort to it 
only in case we were unsuccessful in getting deer. 

A few days after this, early in the morning, Ikwa came 
running into our house, apparently much excited, crying, 
"Awick ! Awick ! " This we had learned was walrus. The 
boys tumbled out of their beds, and in a very few moments were 
in the boat with Ikwa, pulling in the direction of a spouting 
walrus out in McCormick Bay. In a short time they returned 
with a large mother walrus and her baby in tow. The mother 
had been killed, but the baby a round bundle of fat about 
four feet long was alive, and very much so, as we found out a 
little later. Mr. Peary wanted to get photographs of the little 
thing before it was shot, and while he was dressing, a task 
which was of necessity slow, the boys came into the house, 
leaving the baby walrus about a hundred yards up on the 
beach. Suddenly we heard cries for help coming from the 
shore. On stepping to the window, I saw one of the most 
comical sights I had ever seen. The little walrus was slowly 



HUNTS AND EXPLORATIONS 47 

but surely making his way to the waters of the bay. Mane 
with her baby on her back was sitting in the sand, her heels 
dug into it as far as she could get them, holding on to the line 
attached to the walrus, without apparently arresting its pro- 
gress in the least, for she was being dragged through the 
gravel and sand quite rapidly. While I looked, Matt came 
rushing to her assistance, and taking hold of the line just 
ahead of where Mane held it, he gave it one or two turns 
about his wrists, and evidently thought all he had to do 
would be to dig his heels into the sand and hold back ; but 
in an instant he was down in the sand too, and both he and 
Mane were plowing along, the sand flying, and both shouting 
lustily for help. So strong was this little creature that had 
not the other boys rushed out and secured him, he would 
easily have pulled Matt and Mane to the water's edge, where, 
of course, they would have let him go, and he would have 
been a free walrus once more. I have always regretted that I 
did not get a " kodak " of the scene. 

It was now the end of August, and active preparations 
were in progress for sending a party with provisions to estab- 
lish an advance depot on the inland ice for the spring sledge 
journey across the great ice desert to the northern terminus 
of Greenland. It was decided that Astrup, Gibson, and Ver- 
hoeff should go on this trip, while Dr. Cook and Matt re- 
mained with Mr. Peary and myself at Redclifife. 

On September 3, all arrangements having been perfected 
for the inland ice party, every one in the settlement, except 



48 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Matt and Mane with her children, sailed for the head of 
McCormick Bay, where it had been decided that the boys 
should ascend the cliffs and attack the ice. Redcliffe House 
is about fifteen miles from the head of the bay, and this 
distance had to be rowed, for we got no favoring breeze. It 
was late in the evening when we rounded a point of land 
whence we could see the green valley stretching from the 
water's edge back to the giant black cliffs, which here form 
the boundaries of the inland ice. The landscape was a beauti- 
ful one. As I looked I beheld moving objects on one of the 
hillsides, which, seen through the glass, seemed to me to be 
the size of a cow. We at once knew they were reindeer, and 
their apparent size was due to mirage. Astrup was landed 
with a Winchester at a point where he could go round and 
come upon the grazing herd from behind the hill ; it was 
hoped they would not see him, and that he would bag quite a 
number. After landing Astrup we kept on until we were 
opposite the center of the valley ; here our boat was run 
ashore, and we decided to camp. 

Mr. Peary told me to take a run over the rocks and down 
the valley in order to get warm, as I had become chilled from 
sitting in the boat and not exercising for several hours ; so 
after seeing him safely on the little knoll about twenty feet 
above the shore-line, where we intended to make camp, I 
strolled away. Upon climbing the hill, just back of the camp- 
ing-ground, I came in sight of the herd of deer which we had 
seen from the boat, and as I watched them I saw the smoke 



HUNTS AND EXPLORATIONS 49 

and heard the report of Astrup's rifle. In an instant they 
were scampering off in every direction, and although Astrup 
fired shot upon shot not one dropped. One of the animals, 
however, after running some distance, stumbled and fell, lay 
still for an instant, then got up, ran on a few yards, and fell 
again. As it did not rise I judged it had received one of 
Astrup's bullets, and forgetting how deceptive distances are 
in the pure, clear air, I started on the run toward the prostrate 
creature, apparently not more than a mile distant. Happen- 
ing to look back, I saw Dr. Cook and Ikwa coming in my 
direction, and waited for them. On reaching me the doctor 
said they were on their way to help Astrup bring in his game. 
I called his attention to the little white spot on the green 
grass, and told him it was a deer, and that I had seen it drop. 
As we could see nothing of Astrup, we decided to take care 
of the animal. Dr. Cook had his rifle loaded with twelve 
cartridges, Ikwa had a muzzle-loader charged, and an extra 
load for it besides, and I had on my cartridge-belt and re- 
volver (a 38-caliber Colt). After walking or trotting would 
perhaps express it better for some distance, we came to a 
stream that flowed down the center of the valley throughout 
its length, which we had to cross in order to reach our desti- 
nation. Fortunately the doctor had on his long-legged rubber 
boots, for we soon saw that the only way to get on the other 
side was to wade the stream. We tried it at different places, 
and finally the doctor found a place where he could cross. 
First taking his rifle and my revolver and belt of cartridges 



50 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

over, he returned for me and carried me across ; then we 
continued in the direction of the white spot, which all this 
time had not moved. After traveling for nearly an hour we 
were near enough to see that beside the prostrate deer stood 
a tiny black-and-white creature, a fawn. Whether it saw us 
and whispered to its mother, I do not know; but immediately 
after we had made out the little one, the mother deer raised 
her head, looked at us, then rising slowly, started off at a 
moderate walk. We quickened our steps, and so did she. 
When within three hundred yards, Dr. Cook discharged his 
rifle several times, but only succeeded in wounding her in the 
fore leg, which did not seem to retard her progress in the least. 
Several times we were near enough to have shot her without 
any trouble, but we were so excited a case of buck-fever, I 
believe the hunters call it that she escaped every shot. To 
add to our difficulties the deer made for a neighboring lake, 
and in the effort to stop her before she reached it, we fired 
shot after shot until the doctor's rifle was empty. There was 
now nothing for us to do but stand around and crouch behind 
the boulders in the hope that the poor wounded animal would 
come ashore within pistol-shot range. It was evident that she 
was too weak to swim across, and it was very touching to see 
how the little fawn would support its mother in the water. 
Once or twice she tried to climb out on the ice-foot, but the 
ice was not strong enough, and broke beneath her weight. We 
were thoroughly chilled and hungry by this time, but disliked 
the idea of returning empty-handed to camp after such a long 



HUNTS AND EXPLORATIONS 51 

absence. At last, just as we were talking of returning, we 
saw Astrup in the distance, and called to him to join us. When 
he came up to us he said he had had no luck. He had a few 
cartridges left in his rifle, which he expended on our victim 
without, however, harming her in the least. Astrup then 
urged us to return, as he, too, was tired out; but we were 
loath to leave our wounded deer, especially as we now knew 
it was only a matter of time when we should get her, for she 
could not hold out much longer. Nearer and nearer she came 
to the ice, finally leaning against the edge as if to gather 
strength, when suddenly the doctor darted over the ice-foot 
into the icy water, and before the startled animal realized his 
intention, he had her by her short horns, which were still in 
the velvet, and was pulling her slowly ashore. The little one 
then left its mother for the first time, ran as fast as it could 
over the rocks, and disappeared behind the cliffs. 

The doctor had some trouble in pulling the wounded animal 
out on the ice, which kept constantly breaking. All this time 
he was standing knee-deep in the ice-cold water, and before 
long he had to call to us to relieve him, his feet and legs being 
so numb that he could stand it no longer. As Astrup had on 
low shoes, he did not feel like wading out to the doctor, who 
was rubbing and pounding his feet, so I went to his relief. 
My oil-tan boots kept the water out for some time. Although 
I could not drag the poor creature out on the ice, still I had 
no difficulty in holding her, as she made no resistance what- 
ever. After the doctor had somewhat restored his circulation, 



52 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

he came to me, and together we pulled the wounded animal 
out. Then I was asked to kill her with my revolver, but I 
could not force myself to do it, and Astrup took the weapon 
and put her out of her misery. We placed the body on a 
large flat rock, piled boulders on it, and left it. Both Dr. 
Cook and I were thoroughly cold by this time, and we all 
hurried toward camp. It was now nearing midnight, and I 
had been away from camp since six o'clock. It was hard to 
realize the time of day, as the sun was shining just as brightly 
as in the early afternoon. We soon reached the river, and 
across it the poor doctor had to make three trips : first to carry 
the rifles over, then to come back for me, and then to go after 
Astrup. As this last load weighed 183 pounds, and the cur- 
rent was very swift, progress was of necessity slow. The doc- 
tor had to feel his way, and did not dare to lift his feet from 
the bottom. At last we were all safely over. Ikwa, who had 
taken off his kamiks and stockings and waded the stream, was 
lying flat on his back on a mossy bank nearly convulsed with 
laughter at the sight of the doctor carrying Astrup. Once 
across the river we redoubled our speed, and soon reached 
camp, where I found Mr. Peary, with Gibson and Verhoeff, 
anxiously awaiting me. 

The next two days the boys spent in packing their provi- 
sions and equipment over the bluffs to the edge of the ice, 
while I stayed in camp and cooked, and Ikwa put in his time 
hunting. On the fourth day, Monday, September 7, right after 
lunch, the boys left with their last load, and in spite of the 



HUNTS AND EXPLORATIONS 



53 



snow, which had been falling lightly all day, determined to 
keep on to the inland ice. Dr. Cook accompanied them, help- 
ing them carry their provisions to the edge of the ice, and on 
his return we were to start for Redcliffe. 

Just as everything had been stowed away in the boat, a 
wind-storm came down upon us which threatened to blow our 
little craft upon the rocks. The sea was rough and the wind 
cold, which made the time of waiting for the doctor seem 
very long. At last we were joined by our companion, who 
told us that he had left the inland ice party ensconced in their 
sleeping-bags, and that it was snowing furiously upon the ice- 
cap. When we reached Redcliffe seven hours later, we found 
everything white and about ten inches of snow on the ground. 




Cook. 



The Crew of the " Faith." 

Ikwa. Gibson. Astrup. Verhoeff. 



CHAPTER V 

BOAT JOURNEYS AND PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER 

Return to Head of McCormick Bay for Deer Footprints on the Shore Success- 
ful Deer Hunt Meeting with the Returning Inland Ice Party Astrup and 
Gibson Make a Second Attempt on the Ice-cap Attempted Boat Trip up 
Whale Sound Stopped by the New Ice Exciting Battle with Walrus 
Dr. Cook and Matt Tramp to Nowdingyah's Last of the Boat Trips Setting 
up the Stove My Experience with a Snow-slide Final Return of the Inland 
Ice Party Preparing Redcliffe for Winter. 

We were all pretty tired the next day, and Mr. Peary de- 
cided to wait another day or two before starting on a second 
hunting-expedition to the head of the bay. It was Thursday 
morning, September 10, when we nailed up our doors and, out 
of regard for " social custom," tacked a card on the front door, 
which read : " Have gone to Tooktoo Valley for two or three 
days' hunt. Visitors will please leave their cards," and then 
headed our boat eastward. 

In order to avail ourselves of the breeze, we were obliged to 
cross the bay and then tack. When about half-way it was 
decided to run ashore and prepare lunch. As soon as the 
keel of the boat grated on the sand, Ikwa jumped out to make 
the bow-line fast, but he had hardly touched the ground be- 
fore he gave utterance to a cry of surprise, and pointed to foot- 
prints in the sand. In a moment we were all excitement. 



BOAT JOURNEYS AND PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER 55 

The footprints were those of two persons walking in the direc- 
tion of Redcliffe. What a peculiar sensation it is to find signs 
of human beings in a place where you believe yourself and 
party to be the only inhabitants ! After examining them care- 
fully, Ikwa said Gibson and Verhoeff had passed down the 
beach that morning. This worried Mr. Peary, for the supposi- 
tion was that something must have happened to one of the 
party, and the other two were bringing him to Redcliffe. He 
was reassured, however, in a few minutes ; for on following the 
footprints a little distance, I found the prints of all three of the 
boys, and we knew that the inland ice party had returned. 
Knowing that they would make themselves comfortable at the 
house, Mr. Peary decided to keep on to the hunting-grounds, 
which we reached in the early afternoon. During our three 
days' stay in this lovely valley, Matt and Ikwa bagged nine 
deer ; I myself went hunting once or twice, but without suc- 
cess Most of my time was devoted to taking photographs 
of the glaciers in the vicinity, and keeping camp. The sand 
along the shore was too deep and the hills were too steep for 
Mr. Peary to take long walks in any direction, and he was 
glad to have company in camp. 

On Monday we loaded our boat with the trophies of the 
chase, and sailed for home. When within three and a half 
miles of the house, we saw Astrup and Verhoeff coming up the 
beach, and we immediately hailed them, and pulled for the 
shore. They got into the boat, and during our sail home 
Astrup told of the continued storm on the ice-cap ; how the 



56 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

deep snow had prevented their making more than one or one 
and a half miles per day ; that Verhoeff had frozen his face, and 
that they had then decided to return to Redcliffe, report the 
condition of the traveling, and see if Mr. Peary wished them to 
keep on. After reaching Redcliffe, Mr. Peary gave the inland 
ice party a few days' rest, and then sent them in the " Faith," 
our largest whale-boat, back to the head of McCormick Bay 
to bring home their equipment and place all the provisions in 
a cache which would be easily accessible. Gibson and Ver- 
hoeff were to put in two or three days hunting deer, while 
Astrup was to make a careful examination of the cliffs and 
glaciers to ascertain the most practicable route to the ice-cap 
with dogs and sledges. They returned in four days, and we 
immediately began work changing the equipment to make it 
suitable for two persons instead of three, and dried out the 
sleeping-bags thoroughly. Three days afterward, September 
22, Astrup and Gibson again set out for the inland ice. 

Wednesday, September 23. This morning at 9.30 Mr. Peary, 
Matt, Dr. Cook, Ikwa, and myself started in the " Mary Peary " 
for a trip up Inglefield Gulf. There was not a breath of air 
stirring, and the boys had to row from the start. Before we 
had gone a mile, several burgomasters flew over our heads, and 
we next came upon a flock of eiders, but did not get within 
gunshot. When just off Cape Cleveland, we caught sight of 
several walrus in the middle of the bay, and made for them. 
A number of shots were fired, and some of the animals were 
wounded ; but as Ikwa said we should be sure to find " amis- 



BOAT JOURNEYS AND PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER 57 

su-ar " (plenty) " awick " in the gulf, we did not wait for them 
to come again to the surface. After a two hours' rest we 
proceeded up the gulf, but were stopped by the heavy new 
ice, which we could almost see forming in our wake. It being 
certain that we could not make further progress by the boat, 
Mr. Peary decided to have a walrus-hunt for the purpose of 
obtaining ivory. We could see the walrus in every direction, 
and headed the boat for a cake of ice with about fifteen of the 




Walrus on Ice-cake. Off Herbert Island. 

creatures asleep on it. The boys were told to pull for all they 
were worth until the order was given to stop. Mr. Peary then 
took his camera, and he became so absorbed in getting his 
photo just right that he forgot to give the order to stop until 
the boat was so near the cake of ice that before anything 
could be done she ran on it at least four feet, throwing her 
bow straight up into the air. The walrus, jumping into the 
water from under her, careened the boat to port until she 
shipped water, throwing Matt flat on his back ; then with a 



58 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

jerk (which proved to come from an animal Ikwa had har- 
pooned) she was righted, and we were skimming over the 
water, through the new ice, towed by the harpooned walrus. 
This performance lasted at least twenty minutes, during which 
time the boys kept up a constant volley at the walrus that 
besieged us on every side to revenge their wounded com- 
panions. There were at least two hundred and fifty around 
us at one time, and it seemed as if it would be impossible to 
keep the animals from attacking us ; but by steady firing 
we managed to hold them at oar's length. This kept me 
busy reloading the rifles. I thought it about an even chance 
whether I would be shot or drowned. 

I cannot describe my feelings when these monsters sur- 
rounded us, their great tusks almost touching the boat, and 
the bullets whistling about my ears in every direction. When- 
ever a volley of shots greeted them, the whole bunch jumped 
into the air and then plunged under water, leaving us in doubt 
as to where they would reappear. If they should happen to 
come up under the boat, we should probably be the ones to 
take the plunge ; this uncertainty was very exciting, especially 
as the brutes went down and came up in bunches, leaving us 
seventy-five or a hundred to fight while the rest plunged. 

Ikwa had evidently never seen so many " awick " at one 
time, and became very much frightened, finally pounding the 
sides of the boat with his harpoon and yelling at the top of 
his voice, in which he was joined by Matt. When we finally 
got out of the turmoil we had four heads with tusks, and would 



BOAT JOURNEYS AND PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER 59 

have had more, but the bodies sank before we could secure 
them. As we could not proceed up the gulf in the boat, we 
camped about three miles southeast of Cape Cleveland. The 
boat was pulled up on a bit of sandy beach, and with the aid 
of the boat-hooks and a couple of tarpaulins we fixed up a 
very comfortable boat-tent. 

Thursday, September 24. It was decided last night that 
Matt and Dr. Cook should set out on foot for " Nowding- 
yah's," an Eskimo camp of which we had been in search ; so 
we had coffee early, and by eight o'clock the boys started off 
with their rifles and some pemmican. l About ten o'clock 
the boys came in woefully tired, vowing that they had walked 
forty miles, and reported finding Nowdingyah's camp, but all 
four igloos were deserted. Ikwa said that their owners were 
" pehter-ang-ito" (far away) hunting; these northern Eskimos 
are in the habit of leaving their settlements, to which they 
periodically return. 

Friday, September 25. Just before we left camp at eleven 
o'clock, an amusing incident occurred. Ikwa, who had been 
skirmishing for the past hour, returned in a jubilant frame of 

l It may be of interest to my readers to way of preserving meat when whole fami- 

know just what pemmican is. The best lies drove out on the prairies and hunted 

lean beef is cut in strips and dried until it buffalo. As soon as shot the buffalo was 

can be pulverized, then it is mixed with an skinned and the green skin sewed into a 

equal quantity of beef suet. To this mix- bag, into which the meat, after it had been 

ture are added sugar and currants to suit the sun-dried and mixed with the suet, was 

taste, and the whole is heated through packed. As the skin dried and shrunk, it 

until the suet has melted and mixed with compressed the meat, which in this way 

the other ingredients, when it is poured was preserved indefinitely. Pemmican is 

into cans and hermetically sealed. It is not at all unpleasant to the taste, especially 

only a modification of the old-fashioned if eaten with cranberry jam. 



6O MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

mind, and announced his discovery of a cached seal. He asked 
Mr. Peary if he might bring the seal to Redcliffe in the boat, 
saying it was the finest kind of eating for himself and family. 
We could not understand why this particular seal should be so 
much nicer than those he had at Redcliffe ; but as he seemed 
very eager to have it, we gave him the desired permission, and 
off he started, saying that he would be back very soon. About 
half an hour later the air became filled with the most horrible 
stench it has ever been my misfortune to endure, and it grew 
worse and worse until at last we were forced to make an 
investigation. Going to the corner of the cliff, we came upon 
the Eskimo carrying upon his back an immense seal, which 
had every appearance of having been buried at least two 
years. Great fat maggots dropped from it at every step that 
Ikwa made, and the odor was really terrible. Mr. Peary 
told him that it was out of the question to put that thing in 
the boat; and, indeed, it was doubtful if we would not be 
obliged to hang the man himself overboard in order to disin- 
fect and purify him. But this child of nature did not see the 
point, and was very angry at being obliged to leave his trea- 
sure. After he was through pouting, he told us that the more 
decayed the seal the finer the eating, and he could not under- 
stand why we should object. He thought the odor "pe-uh- 
di-och-soah " (very good). 

At noon we passed Cape Cleveland, homeward bound, and 
an hour later reached Redcliffe. The house seemed very 
cold and chilly after the bright sunshine. Verhoeff, who had 



BOAT JOURNEYS AND PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER 6l 

been left in charge, greeted us, and we soon had all the oil- 
stoves going, bread baking, rice cooking, beans heating, venison 
broiling, and coffee dripping, and at two o'clock all sat down 
to dinner and then turned in. 

Tuesday, September 29. The last three days have been 
spent in hunting-explorations on the north shore and in prep- 
arations for the winter. The stove has been put up, the 
windows doubled, and the house made generally air-tight. 
We^find the ice in the bay becoming firmer day by day, and 
in one of our expeditions we found it all but impossible to 
force the boat through it. Mr. Peary has now left off his 
splints and bandages, and has even laid aside his crutches. 
After lunch to-day I started out with a couple of fox-traps, 
and put them in the gorge about a mile back of the house. 
The day was fine, and I enjoyed my walk, although I came in 
for an unpleasant scare. After leaving the traps, I thought I 
would go over the mountains into the valley beyond, and see if 
I could find deer. Half-way up, about a thousand feet above 
sea-level, the snow began to slide under me, taking the shales 
of sandstone along with it, and of course I went too, down, 
down, trying to stop myself by digging my heels into the snow 
and attempting to grasp the stones as they flew by ; but I kept 
on, and a cliff about two hundred feet from the bottom, over 
which I would surely be hurled if I did not succeed in stop- 
ping myself, was the only thing which I could see that could 
arrest my progress. At last I stopped about half-way down. 
What saved me I do not know. At first I was afraid to move 



62 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

for fear I should begin sliding again; but as I grew more 
courageous I looked about me, and finally on hands and 
knees I succeeded in getting on firm ground. I did not 
continue my climb, but returned to the house in a round- 
about way. 

Mr. Peary had the fire started in the big stove, and finds 
that it works admirably. The trouble will be to keep the fire 
low enough. Ikwa indulged in a regular war-dance at the 
sight of the blaze, never before having seen so much fire, and 
for the first few moments kept putting his fingers on the stove 
to see how warm it was. He soon found it too hot. He has 
been getting his sledge, dog-harness, spears, etc., in readiness 
for the winter's hunt after seal. 

Wednesday, September 30. Toward noon Matt came run- 
ning in shouting, "Here are the boys, sir!" and sure enough 
Astrup and Gibson were here, bringing nothing but their snow- 
shoes with them. They were on the ice just a week, and 
estimate the distance traveled inland at thirty miles, and the 
greatest elevation reached at 4600 feet. They returned be- 
cause it was too cold and the snow too deep for traveling. 
At the same time, they admit that they were not cold while 
on the march, and they do not think the temperature was more 
than 10 below zero; but as Gibson stepped on and broke the 
thermometer on the third day, up to which time the lowest 
had been -2, they had no way of telling for certain. Gibson's 
feet were blistered, he having forgotten to put excelsior or 
grass in his kamiks. He believes that with the moral support 



BOAT JOURNEYS AND PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER 63 

of a large party they can easily make from ten to fifteen miles 
per day. 

Thursday, October I. The day has been fine; the house 
is gradually assuming a cozy as well as comfortable appear- 
ance under Mr. Peary's supervision. He is about from 
morning until night, limping a great deal, but he has put 
aside his crutches for good. At night his foot and leg are 
swollen very much, but after the night's rest look better, al- 
though far from normal. Ikwa went out on the ice to-day for 
some distance to test its strength. I took my daily walk to 
the fox-traps, and as usual found no foxes had been near them. 

Sunday, October 4. Nothing of any consequence has taken 
place since the return of the explorers. The boys have been 
at work on the house, hanging blankets, putting up shelves, 
etc. Friday I found one of my traps sprung, and a great many 
tracks around it, but no fox. On Saturday we went down to the 
point one quarter of a mile below the house, Mr. Peary walk- 
ing without cane or crutch, and set a fox-trap on the rocks 
near some tracks. All this time the weather has been perfect. 
To-day Dr. Cook tried going out on the ice, but it did not 
hold him. The bunks of the boys have been placed against 
the east side of the large room and separate curtains furnished. 
The winter routine of four-hourly watches throughout the 
twenty-four hours was begun to-day, the boys taking them 
in turn. 

Monday, October 5. It has been cloudy all day long, but 
with a temperature of about 12. It still seems warm, as 



64 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

there is no wind whatever. I went to my fox-traps this fore- 
noon, and found the view from the heights very fine. The 
clouds hung low, and gave a soft gray background for the blue 
bergs which gleamed on every side of a long black strip of 
water the open sea in the far distance. The light that fell 
on Northumberland Island decked it in a bright yellow, 
while the cliffs across the bay were black in the dark shadow. 
The boys brought the "Mary Peary" up and turned her 
over, supporting her on pillars built of blocks of ice. Here Mr. 
Peary intends to put such provisions as we may need for our 
boat-journey home next summer, covering the whole thing 
with snow. The "Faith" has been turned over against the 
front wall, and a place fixed under her for the Newfoundland 
dogs, Jack and Frank. As soon as we have enough snow the 
house, too, will be banked in with it. 




CHAPTER VI 

WINTER UPON US 

McCormick Bay Frozen over First Sledge Trip to the Head of the Bay for Deer 
Shaky New Ice First Aurora The Strange Light on the Opposite Shore 
First Visit from the Natives Return of our Hunting-party with Ten Deer 
More Natives Second Severe Snow-storm of the Season Still more Native 
Visitors Great Amusement over the White Woman Farewell to the Sun. 

Tuesday, October 6. McCormick Bay is frozen over so as 
to support the dogs and sledge, and Ikwa has been on several 
seal-hunts. He finds one of the holes in the ice which the 
seals keep open all the winter and where they come to breathe. 
Here he takes up his position, being careful not to make the 
least noise. Sometimes he waits for hours before the seal 
comes up, and sometimes the seal skips that hole entirely. 
When it comes he drives his spear through the hole quick as 
a flash into the head of the animal. In this way all the seals 
are caught during the fall and winter. Ikwa went out on his 
sledge with his " mikkie " (dog) after " pussy " (seal) to-day, 
but did not get any. 

The day has been, like yesterday, dark and cloudy, but the 
temperature has been higher, averaging 20 instead of 12; 
the wind has been blowing quite fresh from the east. Mr. 
Peary has set the boys at work building a sledge for a prospec- 



66 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

tive journey to the head of the bay, and I have been busy all 
day getting our room, or rather our bed, in order. All the 
boxes have been removed from under the bed, to my great 
delight, and put into the lean-to at the south end of the 
house. It felt and smelt like a damp cellar under there, but 
now that the air has a chance to circulate freely, I think it 
will be better. 

I have not been out of the house to-day. It is quite dark 
at six o'clock, and on a cloudy day, as to-day, we lighted the 
lamp at five o'clock. 

Matt has started in as lunch-maker ; this gives me nearly 
all day to myself. Our first table-cloth, of unbleached cot- 
ton, also made its debut ; it is a great improvement on bare 
boards. 

Wednesday, October 7. This morning, at about ten 
o'clock, we started out on our first sledging-trip up the bay 
in search of " tooktoo " (reindeer). 

Astrup, Gibson, and Matt pulled our sledge, while Jack 
and Frank, our Newfoundland dogs, and Mikkie, were har- 
nessed to Ikwa's. We were delighted to see that our dogs 
would pull, but Ikwa soon decided that Frank was " peeuk 
nahmee " (no good), so the boys put him to their sledge, but 
he preferred pulling backward to pulling forward ; by coaxing 
they persuaded him to help them somewhat, but it was always 
hard work to get him started after a stop. 

After journeying about four miles, our Eskimo suddenly 
stopped his sledge and explained that he did not want any 



WINTER UPON US 67 

more deerskins, but needed " pussy " skins for his kamiks, or 
boots, kayak, tupic (tent), etc., and he would leave us and 
watch the seal-holes, walking home at night. He told us 
how to fasten his mikkie, and then, after I had kodaked him 
sitting on his seal chair at a hole, we went on. I ran along 
at the upstanders of Mr. Peary's sledge, he being all alone ; 
but the ice being rather slippery and the dogs traveling along 
at a run, I soon found it difficult to keep on my feet, and so 
jumped on the sledge with Mr. Peary, and rode the greater 
part of the time. The two dogs pulled us easily, the sledge 
and load weighing about five hundred pounds. The dogs are 
fastened to the sledge by single traces, and are guided with- 
out reins by the driver with a long whip and much shouting. 
The mikkie not understanding our language, and Mr. Peary 
not knowing the Eskimo terms, and not understanding the lan- 
guage of the whip, we had no means of guiding our team ; 
besides, in many places the ice had to be tested by a member 
of the party going ahead with an alpenstock and " feeling " 
it. Often detours had to be made, and several times we had 
to rush over places where the ice buckled under us, and it 
seemed as though it must let us through; for these reasons 
we allowed the other sledge to take the lead. This we could 
do only by stopping and letting the boys get one fourth or 
one half of a mile ahead; then, giving our dogs the word, they 
would scud along at the top of their speed, not making any 
attempt to stop until they had caught up to the other sledge, 
which they did in a few minutes. In this way we finally 



68 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

reached the head of the bay shortly after six. We immedi- 
ately set about putting up the tent and arranging our sleep- 
ing gear, and Mr. Peary got the stove ready and put on ice 
for tea, and also a can of beans to heat. I was disabled by a 
sick-headache. 

During the next few days the boys made a number of un- 
successful hunting-expeditions, and their failure decided us to 
return to Redcliffe. The mercury had already descended at 
nights to -4, yet I did not feel the low temperature, and 
indeed had not felt uncomfortably cold for more than a few 
minutes at a time. On the 9th, at noon, just half the disk of 
the sun appeared over the top of the mountain back of the 
glacier, and it was evident that we were in the shadow of the 
Arctic winter. Two days later we saw the first aurora not a 
good one, however. 

Monday, October 12. Back again at Redcliffe. In the 
evening Matt came in very much excited, saying that there 
was a moving light on the opposite shore. We all rushed 
out to see it How queer it seems to be the only human 
beings on this coast ! Ikvva said Eskimos were eating their 
supper, and would be here to-morrow. Astrup fired a rifle. 

Tuesday, October 13. About three o'clock this afternoon 
Mane came in and said " Innuit " (Eskimo) was coming with 
" kamutee " (sledge) and " mikkie " (dog). We ran out, and 
with the aid of the glass saw two Eskimos, one of them Ikwa, 
and a sledge drawn by three dogs. The strange " husky " 



WINTER UPON US 69 

turned out to be Nowdingyah, whose deserted camp we visited 
last month. He is much larger in every way than Ikwa, and 
seems bright and intelligent. When offered a knife in ex- 
change for one of his dogs, he said the dog we wanted was the 
leader of his team of bear-dogs, specially trained, but he 
would come again by and by and then give us tljree others. 
We have now little difficulty in understanding the natives, or 
making ourselves understood by signs. 

Saturday, October 17. The weather still continues lovely, 
although the days are rapidly getting shorter. Late Thurs- 
day night Ikwa, who had departed with our visitor, returned, 
telling us that the natives where Nowdingyah lived would 
soon come over to see us ; he also said that Nowdingyah had 
seven puppy-dogs, and this is why he was so willing to give 
us three. Ikwa has been laying in a supply of sealskins for 
a tupic and kayak, and says he will need fifteen for these 
articles alone ; he will require an additional supply for kamiks 
for himself and family. The seal is evidently the most valu- 
able animal of the chase to the natives, who utilize every 
particle of it for food or clothing. About three o'clock we 
discovered the boys, who had gone to Five- Glacier Valley, 
on the opposite side of the bay, coming across the ice, and 
about an hour later they arrived jubilant with a load of ten 
deerskins, one blue fox, and one Arctic hare. Gibson had also 
shot two seals, which they could not, however, bring with them, 
as the ice was too thin for the hunters to reach their booty. 
Still later Ikwa came in, and said " Innuits pingersut" (Eski- 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



mos three), " kamutee martluk " (sledges two), were coming; 
and in a few minutes Nowdingyah, Arrotochsuah, and Kayu- 
nah landed with two sledges and five dogs. Arrotochsuah 

is an old man with 
gray hair, but looks 
exactly like a wo- 
man ; Kayunah is a 
young man, stutters 
badly, and while 
he has a decidedly 
idiotic appearance 
he has a fox-like 
expression about 
the eyes and nose, 

5? and accordingly he 

Arrotochsuah Fashioning a Spear. hag been dubbed 

the "Fox." Nowdingyah is the only one of the Eskimos who 
has hair on his face, and he has a little mustache and imperial 
which give to him something of a Japanese touch. 

Sunday, October 18. Mr. Peary has been on the jump 
all day, getting odds and ends to trade with the natives. 
He has secured three very fine seal-spears, one walrus-lance 
all with fine lines of walrus-hide an " ikkimer " (soap- 
stone blubber lamp), a drill, and two dogs and a sledge. 
The natives left early in the afternoon, the old man being 
tired, having been obliged to sleep out on the beach on his 
sledge, with no shelter, as there was no room in Ikwa's 




WINTER UPON US 71 

igloo ; he walked about the greater part of the night to 
keep warm. 

Monday, October 19. Astrup and Verhoeff went to-day to 
Cape Cleveland, and put up a flag-pole and signal for use in 
surveying. Mr. Peary is fixing up my lockers with cardboard, 
preparatory to putting up the curtains. So far the weather 
has been fine ; we have full moon, and this makes it seem less 
like night, but at 8 A. M. it is still quite dark. From about 
eleven until two, the coloring on land, ice, snow, and sky is 
beautiful, all the delicate shades being brought out to best 
advantage. We took two short strolls, fixed up the curtains 
about the range and lockers, and then I did a little sewing. 
To-night the wind is blowing fiercely from the south. 

Wednesday, October 21. Last night we had our first 
wind-storm since the second night of our encampment here, 
when I was in the tent alone with Mr. Peary, who was strapped 
down to a plank. The wind rattled things in a lively manner, 
and the boys on duty had to go out every fifteen minutes and 
inspect the premises to see that nothing was loosened or blown 
away. This wind from the southeast continued until five 
o'clock this morning, when it abated somewhat. The day has 
been cloudy. The boys have put up a snow hut for the dogs, 
and one for their own convenience, in which to experiment 
with their fur clothing and sleeping-bags. 

Thursday, October 22. My brother Henry's birthday. 
We drank his health and prosperity in a bottle of Haute 
Sauterne, as we did my brother Emil's eleven days before. 



72 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

My husband and I are keeping house alone. All the boys 
have gone on a deer-hunting expedition, while Ikwa, with the 
dogs, is after hares. We have had Mane here all day at 
work on a pattern deerskin stocking. The day has been dark 
and cloudy, and it has snowed lightly. 

Friday, October 23. Last night it snowed a very little, 
and this morning it is cloudy and gloomy. We sat up till 
midnight, then the alarm was set for two o'clock, at which time 
coal had to be put on the fire an operation to be repeated at 
four, and again at six. Mane has been with us all day, with 
her two piccaninnies, at work on deerskin stockings. The 
elder child, Anadore, is just at the age (two years) when she is 
into everything, and she tried our patience to the limit. We 
cannot allow Mane to take the furs to her igloo to sew, as they 
would be filled with "koomakshuey " (parasites), and some 
one must stay in the room with her to superintend her work. 
I am doing very little besides getting the meals and fixing up 
odd jobs about the rooms; reading Greely's work is about the 
extent of my labor. To-night at nine o'clock the thermometer 
is 10, and the moon is shining brightly. 

Sunday, October 25. This morning there was about three 
inches of new snow on the ground, and the cliffs back of the 
house are beginning to look white. About 2 P. M. huskies 
were seen coming across the bay, and a half- hour later they 
had arrived, Kayunah, his "koonah" (wife) and three picca- 
ninnies, and Arrotochsuah, his koonah and one piccaninny. 
Arrotochsuah's koonah was very much amused at me, and 



WINTER UPON US 73 

kept screaming "Chimo koonah!" (Welcome woman!) until I 
said " Chimo ! Chimo ! " and then she laughed and laughed. 
The other woman was more quiet. These Eskimos are 
much cleaner and more presentable people than Ikwa and 
his family. Later in the evening I gave each woman two 
needles, a cake of soap, and a box of matches. Arrotoch- 
suah's koonah presented me with a spoon made by herself 
from a piece of walrus tusk, and used by her piccaninny, 
Magda, a boy about twelve years old, ever since he could 
feed himself. In return I gave the boy a looking-glass, and I 
made a similar present to Kayunah's smallest. Mr. Peary 
allowed all hands to sleep on the floor in the boys' room. It 
is amusing to listen to the conversation between our men and 
the huskies. In one instance the boys could not quite make 
out whether a man had died from eating walrus or the walrus 
had eaten him, etc. 

Monday, October 26. To-day is the last day the sun will 
be above the horizon until February I3th. 







CHAPTER VII 

ESKIMO VISITORS 

Our Visitors Leave for their Homes Departure of a Party to Build a Stone Hut 
in Tooktoo Valley Arrival of the Most Northerly Family in the World The 
Last Hunting-party of the Season Goes to Five-Glacier Valley Still the 
Natives Come Mama's Birthday Finishing Touches to our Winter Quarters 
Eclipse of the Moon Beginning of the Winter Routine Matt Installed as 
Cook Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, October 28. Yesterday Nowdingyah and his 
piccaninny, a little girl about two and a half years old, put in 
their appearance. The child was nicely dressed in a blue-fox 
"kapetah" (overcoat) and seal cap trimmed with fox, but she 
was not as pretty as Kayunah's little one. I gave her a look- 
ing-glass, too, which amused her father as much as it did the 
child. After supper Mr. Peary brought out his reading-glass, 
and Arrotochsuah's wife immediately said she had seen a 
white man have one at the northern settlement of Etah, and 
she showed us how he had used it as a burning-glass. We 
are all curious to know what party of white men she had seen. 
The whole evening till midnight was spent in taking flash- 
light photographs of the Eskimos and ethnological measure- 
ments of Kayunah. 

Our Eskimo visitors left for their homes this morning. At 
noon the boys, with Dr. Cook in charge, started for Five- 

74 



ESKIMO VISITORS 75 

Glacier Valley to hunt reindeer and to bring the cached veni- 
son down to the edge of the ice, where Ikwa will call for it 
in a few days and bring it back on the sledge. The boys 
will then proceed to the head of the bay, and under Dr. Cook's 
direction build a stone igloo for the use of the inland ice party 
next spring. About three o'clock Matt returned for a tin of 
biscuits which had been forgotten, and informed us that Ver- 
hoeff had frozen his nose and face severely, and that Astrup's 
cheeks had also been nipped. The temperature was 10, 
and a fresh southeaster was blowing across the bay. Ikwa and 
Mane came in this afternoon and added quite a number of 
words to our Eskimo vocabulary ; the former also gave us an 
account of the murder of his father by tatooed natives while 
out after bear off Saunders Island. 

Saturday, October 31. Ikwa started this morning with the 
sledge and dogs for Arrotochsuah's igloo, where he expects 
to get a load of hay. About 2 P. M., while we were out, Mr. 
Peary shoveling snow against the wall, we saw a dark object 
on the ice, and with the aid of the glass made out a sledge 
and two people, but they did not seem to get any nearer, and 
in a short time disappeared. About six they arrived Annow- 
kah, his wife M'gipsu, and an awful-looking baby of about 
two months. They came from Nerki, a place beyond Arro- 
tochsuah's, two days' journey from Redcliffe. They are cleaner 
and more intelligent-looking than any natives we have yet 
seen. In conversation we discovered that they were the most 
northerly family of Greenland, and consequently of the globe. 



7 6 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



Mr. Peary and I are having great times keeping house by 
ourselves ; he brings in the snow for water, the coal and coal- 
oil, and keeps watch during the night, while I cook, wash 
dishes, sweep (without a broom the only article of impor- 
tance that was overlooked in the preparations for our Arctic 
journey), and look after Mane, who is here with her two 
children working on the reindeer skins. We shall not be 
sorry when the boys return and take some of these duties off 
our shoulders. 

Thursday, November 5. Jack is the father of eight jet-black 
pups. The days are only a few hours long now, but the dark- 




Prepared for Winter. My South \\ 



ness is not yet the darkness of a winter night at home. Mr. 
Peary's leg is improving steadily, and he seems more like 
himself. The strain has told on both of us, and I am glad it 
is over. He put up his writing-desk yesterday, and our room 



ESKIMO VISITORS 77 

is almost fixed for the winter, and looks very cozy. We have 
been busy putting up the rest of the blankets in our room, 
and have closed the side window and one half of the end 
window. As daylight has almost entirely departed this will 
make no difference in the amount of our illumination, and the 
room will be much warmer, although thus far we have had no 
cause to complain, the thermometer not having registered 
below 1 6 at any time. 

Our house is by no means a palace, nor do its interior fix- 
ings even remotely suggest luxury. We have two rooms, the 
smaller of which, measuring twelve feet by seven and a half, 
has been reserved for Mr. Peary and myself, while the larger, 
of not quite double the size, is used as the general " living- 
room," besides affording sleeping-quarters to the boys. A 
dining or " mess " table, a few rude chairs, a book-case, and 
the " bunks " built to the east wall, constitute the furniture, 
of which it can in truth be said there is no superabundance. 
The red blanketing which has been tacked all over the inside 
walls and the ceiling, seven feet overhead, imparts a warm 
feeling to the interior, and relieves what would otherwise be a 
cheerless expanse of boards and tar paper. Our stove in the 
partition- wall between the two rooms is so placed as to give a 
goodly supply of heat to the lowest stratum of the atmosphere. 

The shell of the house is made of inch boards, lined inside 
and outside with two-ply and three-ply tarred paper, which 
is made to fit as nearly air-tight as possible. To the inside of 
the ten-inch rafters and posts we have nailed a lining of heavy 



78 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

cardboard, which forms a support to the blanketing, be- 
sides making a complete inner shell of its own. Between the 
two shells there is free air space, which will greatly help to 
retain the warmth in the rooms. 

A stone wall has been built around the house four feet 
away from it, and on it we shall store our boxes of provisions, 
and the stretch a canvas cover over to the roof of the house. 
Our corridor will thus be sheltered as well as the house, and 
even in the most inclement weather we shall be able to breathe 
pure air and have outdoor exercise. With the first heavy snow 
everything will be plastered over with this natural fleece, and 
cold though it may be on the outside, we hope to keep quite 
comfortable within. 

Saturday, November 7. To-day has been reception day. 
We have to-night seventeen huskies in our camp, and I 
don't know how many dogs ; if I were to judge by the howl- 
ing and yelping, I should say at least fifty. I have been under 
the weather for the last two days, but feel better to-night. 

Sunday, November 8. We generally devote Sunday to 
sleep ; the boys, except the watchman, turn in right after 
breakfast and sleep till lunch. We have a cold supper, which 
saves me the trouble of cooking Sunday afternoon. We 
usually have pemmican and cranberry sauce, salmon, hot 
biscuits, chocolate, and fruit. Arrotochsuah and his family 
moved into a snow igloo to-day. 

Monday, November 9. Mama's birthday. My thoughts 
have been at home and with her all day, and I am sure she 



ESKIMO VISITORS 79 

has thought of me. I do not even know where she is. In my 
mind I have seen sister Mayde at work on something mysteri- 
ous for the past week. I must try to put my mind on some- 
thing else or I shall have a spell of homesickness. I placed a 
bamboo pole across the front of our bed and draped the two 
United States flags (one belonging to the National Geo- 
graphical Society of Washington, and the other to the Phila- 
delphia Academy of Natural Sciences) a la portiere across the 
front ; then on the wall just beside my place I have hung the 
photographs of my dear ones. 

Saturday, November 14. Very little worthy of note has 
happened this week. My daily routine is always the same ; I 
take my coffee in bed, then get 
lunch for my family, take a walk 
afterward, usually with Mr. Peary, 
then sewor read, and at four o'clock 
begin to get dinner. Last Thurs- 
day Gibson initiated Frank into 
dragging a load of ice from the 
berg to the house. Yesterday was 
lovely and clear, and the full moon 
which we have throughout the 

^% * 

twenty-four hours, made it as 

bright as day. Our walk to-day 

was to the berg, a mile distant (as 

measured by our newly finished odometer wheel), and return 

the first long walk Mr. Peary has taken ; his leg did not feel 




8o 

any worse for the trip, but was considerably more swollen at 
night. Frank to-day for the first time behaved very well 
in hauling ice. 

Sunday, November 15. This has been a lovely day. How 
much I should like to take a peep at the home folks! To-night 
we have had the eclipse of the moon. It was first noticed 
about 7.30, and Mr. Peary watched it carefully, making ob- 
servations with his transit and chronometer. About nine 
o'clock Arrotochsuah arrived from Netchiolumy, 1 on Barden 
Bay, accompanied by one of his sons and another young man. 
The first we immediately nicknamed the " Smiler," and the 
other the " Villain," owing to the expressions on their faces. 

Tuesday, November 17. Yesterday was an exceptionally 
fine day, beautifully moonlit. The "Villain" of Netchiolumy 
has a sledge made of the boards which Dr. Cook traded for a 
tupic when the " Kite " stopped at the settlement in July. 
This morning Ikwa introduced a rather clean-looking native 
from Omanooy, a place this side of Akpani, on Saunders 
Island; his name is Kioppadu. Our sewing progresses slowly, 
Arrotochsuah's wife, whom we had installed as seamstress, 
being too old to prepare the skins by the time-honored native 
method of chewing. Matt got supper to-night, and will from 
now until May I prepare all the meals under my super- 
vision. This gives me more time to myself, besides not con- 
fining me to the house. It was no easy task for me to cook 
for six boys, and for such appetites. 

1 Erroneously called by most geographers Ittiblu. 



ESKIMO VISITORS 8 1 

Thursday, November 19. We have had our first real winter 
snow-storm to-day. The wind whistled, and the snow was 
driven into every crack and crevice. Just before noon Ka- 
yunah and family came ; Makzangvva, his wife, is going to chew 
skins for us. They will live in the snow igloo, having brought 
all their household effects with them ; these consist of the 
soapstone blubber lamp or stove, a reindeer skin as a cover- 
let for the bed (which is merely a bundle of hay on some 
pieces of board given them by us), a few rabbit and gull skins 
for wraps for the feet, and a sealskin to put against the wall 
behind the bed. When these articles are put inside the igloo, 
their house is furnished. 

Saturday, November 21. A clear day; the stars are 
twinkling and the air is delightful, but one must exercise 
to keep warm. Since Matt does the cooking, I take long 
walks every day, and find them very agreeable. We had a 
general house-cleaning to-day, and will have it now every 
Saturday. We have been obliged to dismiss the Eskimos 
from the living-room during meal-time, as their odor is too 
offensive. 

Sunday, November 22. Kayunah came in this morning, 
and said that our coffee and biscuit made his family sick, and 
as they had no more seal meat they must go home. Mr. 
Peary gave them permission to help themselves to the walrus 
stacked up behind our house, and the Eskimo was satisfied. 
Ikwa and Kyo (Kioppadu) have gone over to the settlement 
of Igloodahominy, on Robertson Bay, after blue foxes. 



82 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Monday, November 23. It grows gradually darker every 
day. To-day at noon it was impossible to read ordinary print 
by daylight. Mr. Verhoeff went on the cliffs to look at his 
thermometer, and found that it read higher than those at 
Redcliffe. Ikwa and his brother returned about noon without 
foxes or game of any kind. We had a faint aurora this even- 
ing. On the whole I am very much disappointed in the 
auroras ; I thought we should have very beautiful displays in 
the Arctic regions, but it seems that we are too far north of 
the magnetic pole. 

Wednesday, November 25. The days are rather unsatis- 
factory, although I keep busy all day sewing, mending, re- 
arranging my room, etc. When I sum up at bedtime what I 
have accomplished, it is very little. Mr. Peary and the boys 
are busily at work on some test sledges. This afternoon 
Annowkah and M'gipsu returned, bringing with them a 
twelve-year-old girl, named Tookymingwah, whose father 
was dragged under the ice and drowned a few weeks ago by 
an infuriated "oogzook" seal ( Phoca barbata? ) which he had 
harpooned. She has a mother and two sisters, who will be 
here soon. 

Mr. Peary issued the Thanksgiving proclamation, and I 
have been busy getting things ready for the Thanksgiving 
dinner, which I told Matt I would prepare. Our cooking and 
baking is all done on oil- stoves; since I have only three 
ovens I baked my pies to-day, as I shall need all the stoves 
and ovens to-morrow. This forenoon I went out to our 



ESKIMO VISITORS 83 

berg, accompanied by Mr. Peary and my two Newfoundland 
dogs, after a load of ice. It is rather a novel idea to me, 
chopping ice from the stately icebergs and melting it for 
drinking and cooking purposes. 

Thursday, November 26. Thanksgiving day, and all work 
is suspended. Before lunch I went down to Cape Cleveland 
with Mr. Peary to see how much daylight still remains 
toward the south. The sky was tinged with rose near the 
southern horizon, and the moon was just coming up from 
behind Northumberland Island. How strange it is that while 
we have no sunlight whatever, we know that at home they 
are having day and night just as usual ! The temperature 
was 12*4 F. Dinner was served at 7 P. M. All the boys 
wore American clothing, and the room was draped with the 
Stars and Stripes. 



CHAPTER VIII 

ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 

Creeping Toward the Winter Solstice Household Economy The Holidays 
Christmas Amusements Christmas Dinner to the Natives New-Year Fes- 
tivities Moonlight Snow-shoe Tramps Reception in the South Parlor. 

Wednesday, December 2. Thanksgiving has come and 
gone. We had a very pleasant time, and enjoyed our din- 
ner as much as any one at home. The only difference be- 
tween day and night at Redcliffe is that during the day in 
addition to the bracket-lamps we have a large Rochester 
lamp burning. The huskies, as we continue to call the na- 
tives, have named it the "mickaniny sukinuk" (baby sun). 
Matt lights it at 8 A. M., and the officer on watch puts it out 
at 10 P. M. Mr. Peary has made a rule that no member of 
the party, unless ill, shall occupy his bunk between the hours 
of 8 A. M. and 7 P. M. He has also changed from the four- 
hour watches to twelve-hour watches ; thus one man has the 
night watch for a whole week, and during this time sleeps in 
the daytime, and one man has the day watch. At the end 
of a week these two men are relieved by two others. The 
boys think they like this arrangement very much better. 
The native whom Ikwa brought back with him from Keati 



ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 85 

is named Mahoatchia, and Ikwa says that he and the one- 
eyed bear-hunter, Mekhtoshay, of Netchiolumy, exchange 
wives with each other every year. It is interesting to note 
that these two men are the only ones in the tribe who in- 
dulge in this practice, yet the other men seem to think it all 
right; but the women are not at all satisfied with this so- 
cial arrangement. 

If some of our dear ones at home could look down upon us 
now they would be surprised to find how comfortable and 
contented we are. Everybody is busily engaged in getting 
the equipment and clothing ready for the long spring sledge 
journey over the inland ice. Mr. Peary gives me an idea of 
what kind of garments he wants, and I am making experi- 
mental outfits out of canton flannel, which, when satisfactory, 
will be used as patterns by which the skins will be cut, thus 
avoiding the chance of wasting any of the valuable furs. 
While I am at work on this, two native women, M'gipsu, wife 
of Annowkah, with her baby on her back, and Tookyming- 
wah, the twelve-year-old girl, are both sitting tailor- fashion 
on the floor, chewing deerskins. The native method of treat- 
ing the skins of all animals intended for clothing, is first to rid 
them of as much of the fat as can be got off by scraping with 
a knife ; then they are stretched as tight as possible, and 
allowed to become perfectly dry. After this they are taken by 
the women and chewed and sucked all over in order to get as 
much of the grease out as possible ; then they are again dried 
and scraped with a dull implement so as to break the fibers, 



86 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

making the skins pliable. Chewing the skins is very hard 
on the women, and all of it is done by them; they cannot 
chew more than two deerskins per day, and are obliged to 
rest their jaws every other day. 

Kyo, Ikwa's brother, and Annowkah come in occasionally 
and scrape some of the skins after they have been chewed. 
Kyo especially tries to make himself useful. He presents 
rather a comical appearance in his bearskin nanookies and blue 
guernsey given him by one of the boys. Every time he sees 
any shavings or other trash on the floor he seizes the broom, 
made by him out of the wings of eider-ducks, and sweeps 
it up. Mr. Peary and the boys are carpentering from morn- 
ing till night, and every day we assure one another that we do 
not mind the Arctic night at all; but I don't think that any of 
us will object to seeing the sun again. 

Thursday, December 10. A whole week has passed since 
I wrote in my journal. We have had one or two very dis- 
agreeable days, the wind making it too unpleasant for my 
daily walk. 

We have been busy working on the fur outfits. I have suc- 
ceeded in getting satisfactory patterns for Mr. Peary ; Mane 
and M'gipsu are sewing. The former is a poor sewer, but 
M'gipsu is very neat as well as rapid, and I have suggested to 
Mr. Peary that he offer her an inducement if she will stay and 
sew until all the garments are completed. She understands 
us and we understand her better than any of the other natives, 
including Ikwa and Mane, although they have been with us 



ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 



fully ten weeks longer. I hope it is not a case of new broom, 
and that she will wear well. The little girl Tookymingwah, 
whom we all call " Tooky," is a neat little seamstress, but is 
not very rapid. A few 
days ago her mother, 
named Klayuh, but 
always called by us 
the " Widow, " arrived 
with her two younger 
daughters, the young- 
est about five years 
old. I asked her if 
she had only the three 
children, and she 
burst into tears and 
left the house with- 
out answering me. 
Turning to M'gipsu, 
I asked her what it 
meant, and she said it 
was " peuk nahmee " 
(not well) for me to 
ask Klayuh about other children. When I insisted upon 
knowing why, she took me aside and whispered that Klayuh 
had just killed her youngest child, about two years of age, 
by strangling it. She went on to explain that it was perfectly 
right for Klayuh to do this, as the father of the child had 




M'gipsu Sewing. 



88 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

been killed, and she could not support the children herself, 
and no man would take her as a wife so long as she had a 
child small enough to be carried in the hood. I asked her 
if this was always done, and she said : " Oh, yes, the women 
are compelled to do it." 

Mr. Peary has spoken to M'gipsu about staying at Red- 
clifife as seamstress, and she is delighted at the opportunity. 
When Ikwa heard of this arrangement he rushed in and 
wanted to know why he was "no good" for Peary, and why 
Mane could not do the sewing, and said that if Peary pre- 
ferred Annowkah and M'gipsu he would pull down his igloo 
and take his family back to Keati. It was some little 
time before we could quiet him and make him understand 
that we needed more than one woman to sew all of the 
clothing. 

The last three days have been particularly busy ones for me, 
as Matt has been sick in bed with something like the grippe, 
and I have had the cooking to do in addition to the sewing. 
The poor fellow has had an uncomfortable time, but the doc- 
tor says he will be all right in a day or two. 

Our house looks like a huge snow-drift from a little distance, 
so completely is it covered with snow. The whole village 
presents the appearance of a series of snow- mounds of various 
sizes. We have five snow igloos inhabited by the natives, 
besides a storehouse, an experimental snow-house, and some 
dog-houses, all built of blocks of snow. Just at present we 
are getting quite a little amusement out of two young natives 



ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 89 

from Cape York, who express the same surprise at us and our 
mode of living as the country boy does the first time he comes 
to a city. They are dressed in new suits throughout, kamiks, 
bearskin nanookies, foxskin kapetahs, and birdskin shirts, 
and so the boys have nicknamed them the "Cape York dudes." 
The younger one, Keshu, is a stepbrother of Klayuh, and he 
has brought her the sad tidings that their father is very sick 
and will probably never get well again. I should not be sur- 
prised if she would return to Cape York with them. 

Monday, December 21. The dark night is just half over; 
to-day is the shortest day. So far the time has not seemed 
very long, but I am afraid before we have had many more 
dark days we shall all think it long enough. I have done 
nothing as yet toward celebrating Christmas, but I want to 
make some little thing for Mr. Peary. As far as the boys are 
concerned, I think an exceptionally good dinner will please 
them more than anything else I could give them. M'gipsu 
has made a pair of deerskin trousers for one of the boys, and 
has also completed a deerskin coat. She is now at work on a 
deerskin sleeping-bag, which is to be fastened about the neck 
of the occupant, over a fur hood with a shoulder cape, which 
I am endeavoring to fashion. 

She is sitting on the floor in my room (an unusual honor), 
and her husband, Annowkah, comes in as often as he can find 
an excuse for doing so. He frequently rubs his face against 
hers, and they sniffle at each other ; this takes the place of 
kissing. I should think they could smell each other without 



90 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

doing this, but they are probably so accustomed to the (to 
me) terrible odor that they fail to notice it. 

I dislike very much to have the natives in my room, on 
account of their dirty condition, and especially as they are 
alive with parasites, of which I am in deadly fear, much to the 
amusement of our party. But it is impossible for the women 
to sew in the other room, where the boys are at work on their 
sledges and ski, so I allow two at a time to come into my 
room, taking good care that they do not get near the bed. 
At the end of their day's work, I take my little broom, which is 
an ordinary whisk lashed to a hoe-handle, and sweep the room 
carefully. The boys have made brooms out of the wings of 
ducks and gulls, which are very satisfactory, there being only 
the bare floor to sweep; but I have a carpet on my floor, and the 
feather brooms make no impression on it, so I am compelled 
to use my little whisk. It answers the purpose admirably, but 
it takes me twice as long as it would otherwise have done. 
After the room has been thoroughly swept, I sprinkle it with a 
solution of corrosive sublimate, given to me by the doctor, and 
in this way manage to keep entirely free from the pests. 
Both Mr. Peary and myself rub down with alcohol every night 
before retiring as a further protection against these horrible 
" koomakshuey," and we are amply repaid for our trouble. 
Matt has entirely recovered from his sick spell, and has again 
taken charge of the cooking. 

I was right in my surmise about the widow ; she accompa- 
nied the "dudes" to Cape York, taking her three children with 



ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 91 

her. Kyo also left at the same time for his home at Omanooy. 
He says he will return in ten days with a load of deerskins 
which he has at his igloo. Mr. Peary loaned him two of his 
dogs, and has promised him ammunition in exchange for 
the deerskins. We are anxious to see what kind of a gun he 
has; he says he got it from an old man who had received it 
from a white man long ago. 

We have had a great house-cleaning in honor of the ap- 
proaching holidays. I have replaced the cretonne curtains at 
the bottom of my bed, wash-stand, bookcase, and trunk, with 
new ones, and have put fresh muslin curtains at my windows. 
The boys have cleaned the large room, taking all superfluous 
lumber and tools out, and have even scrubbed the floor. The 
natives think we are crazy to waste so much water. Poor 
things, they think water was made only for drinking purposes. 

Saturday, December 26. Just after I made the last entry 
in my journal, one of the boys reported that the tide- 
gage wire was broken. Mr. Peary, Verhoeff, and Gibson 
went out to put it in commission. After about an hour Ver- 
hoeff rushed into the house calling, " Doctor, Doctor, come 
out to the tide-gage as quick as you can ! " The doctor, 
whose turn it was to be night-watchman, and who was there- 
fore asleep at this hour, tumbled out of his bunk and into his 
clothes, and made a rush for the tide-gage. I was lying in 
my bed suffering from the effects of a sick-headache ; but never 
having fully recovered from the shock caused by Mr. Peary's 
accident in Melville Bay, and realizing that he was not yet 



92 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

quite sure of his injured limb, the thought flashed across my 
mind that something had happened to him. No sooner did 
this idea occur to me than it became a settled fact, and in 
less time than it takes to tell I had thrown on my wrapper 
and kamiks, caught up a steamer-rug to throw about me, and 
was on my way down to the tide-gage. As I ran down the 
beaten path, I could see the light of the little bull's-eye lantern 
flashing to and fro in the distance. It was as dark as any 
starlight night at home, although it was early in the evening, 
and not any darker now than it had been at noon. I could 
hear the low buzz of conversation without being able to dis- 
tinguish any voices, and the figures seemed all huddled to- 
gether. My whole attention was absorbed by this little group, 
and I did not properly watch my path ; consequently I 
stumbled, then slipped and lost my footing, falling astride a 
sharp ridge of ice on the ice-foot. For an instant I could not 
tell where I was hurt the most, and then I discovered that I 
could move neither limb, the muscles refusing to do my bid- 
ding. I next tried to call Mr. Peary, whose voice I could now 
distinctly hear, but I could utter no sound. Then I lost con- 
sciousness. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the same 
spot in the same position. The little group, not more than 
sixty yards away, were laughing and talking ; but I was unable 
to raise my voice above a hoarse whisper, and could in no way 
attract their attention, so interested were they in their work of 
raising the tide-gage anchor. I was clothed in such a way 
that lying out on the ice with the temperature eighteen degrees 



ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 93 

below zero was anything but comfortable. I found that by 
great exertion I could move myself, and by doing this a little 
at a time, I gradually got on my hands and knees and crawled 
back to the house. As the whole distance was up-hill and 
every movement painful, I was obliged to make frequent 
stops to rest. At last I reached my room and had just 
strength enough left to drag myself upon the bed. I noticed by 
the clock that I had been absent thirty-five minutes. On ex- 
amination it was found that I was cut and bruised all over, 
but the doctor declared that I was not seriously hurt ; but even 
now I have not entirely recovered from the effects of the fall. 
The day before yesterday was spent in decorating the in- 
terior of our Arctic home for the Christmas and New- Year 
festivities. In the large room the ceiling was draped with red 
mosquito-netting furnished by Mr. Gibson. Dr. Cook and 
Astrup devised wire candelabra and wire candle-holders, 
which were placed in all the corners and along the walls. 
Two large silk United States flags were crossed at one end of 
the room, and a silk sledge-flag given to Mr. Peary by a friend 
in Washington was put up on the opposite wall. I gave 
the boys new cretonne for curtains for their bunks. In my 
room I replaced the portieres, made of silk flags, with 
which the boys had decorated their room, by portieres made 
of canopy lace, and decorated the photographs of our dear 
ones at home, which were grouped on the wall beside the bed, 
with red, white, and blue ribbons. This occupied us all the 
greater part of the day. About nine o'clock in the evening 



94 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Mr. Peary made a goodly supply of milk-punch, which was 
placed upon the table, together with cakes, cookies, candies, 
nuts, and raisins. He gave each of the boys a book as a 
Christmas gift. We spent the evening in playing games and 
chatting, and at midnight Mr. Peary and I retired to our room 
to open some letters, boxes, and parcels given to us by kind 
friends, and marked, " To be opened Christmas eve at mid- 
night." I think our feeling of pleasure at the many and 
thoughtful remembrances was clouded by the feeling of intense 
homesickness which involuntarily came with it. It was the 
first Christmas in my life spent away from home, and for the 
first time since the little " Kite " steamed out of Brooklyn I 
felt how very far away we are from those we love and who 
love us. I shall never forget the thoughtful kindness of Mrs. 
Beyer, wife of the governor of Upernavik, to a perfect stranger. 
Although she is obliged to get all her supplies from Denmark, 
and then order them a year in advance, out of her slender 
stock she had filled a large box with conserves, preserves, 
bonbons, spice-cakes, tissue-paper knickknacks for decorating 
the table, and very pretty cards wishing us a merry Christ- 
mas. Mr. Peary had carved for me two beautiful hairpins, and 
I made a guidon out of a silk handkerchief and a piece of 
one of my dresses, to be carried by him on his long journey 
over the ice-cap to the northern terminus of Greenland. 

Yesterday Christmas morning we had a late breakfast, 
and it was very near noon before all the inmates of Redcliffe 
were astir. I had decided to have an early dinner, and then to 



ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 95 

invite all our faithful natives to a dinner cooked by us and 
served at our table with our dishes. I thought it would be as 
much fun for us to see them eat with knife, fork, and spoon 
as it would be for them to do it. 

While I was preparing the dinner, most of the boys went 
out for a walk, "to get a good appetite," they said. After the 
table was set, Astrup placed a very pretty and cleverly de- 
signed menu-card at each plate. Each card was especially 
appropriate to the one for whom it was intended. 

At 4.30 P. M. we all sat down to our "Merry Christmas." 
The dinner consisted of 

Salmon a la can. 

Rabbit-pie with green peas. 

Venison with cranberry sauce. 

Corn and tomatoes. 

Plum-pudding with brandy sauce. 

Apricot-pie. 

Pears. 

Candy, nuts, raisins. 
Coffee. 

We arose from the table at half-past seven, all voting this to 
have been the jolliest Christmas dinner ever eaten in the 
Arctic regions. After Matt had cleared everything away, the 
table was set again, and the Eskimos were called in. Ikwa 
and his family sent regrets, as they had just returned from a 
visit to Keati, and were too tired to put on "full dress " for a 
dinner-party. We therefore had only two of our seamstresses, 



96 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

M'gipsu and Inaloo, with us; in place of Ikwa and his wife we 
invited two visitors, Kudlah and Myah. We had nicknames 
for all the natives. Ahngodegipsah we called the "Villain" on 
account of the similarity of his expression, when he laughed, 




Christmas Dinner to the Natives. 

to that of the villain on the stage. His wife, Inaloo, talked 
so incessantly that she at once received from the boys the 
nickname of the "Tiresome." M'gipsu was called the "Daisy" 
because she could do anything she was asked to do. Her 
husband, Annowkah, we knew as the " Young Husband "; Kud- 
lah was called "Misfortune"; and Myah was known as the 
"White Man." The "Villain" was put at the head of the table 



ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 97 

and told that he must serve the company just as he had seen 
Mr. Peary serve us. The "Daisy" took my place at the foot of 
the table, her duty being to pour the tea. The " Young Hus- 
band " and "Misfortune" sat on one side, while "Tiresome" 
and the "White Man" sat opposite. Their bill of fare was as 

follows : 

Milk-punch. 

Venison-stew, corn-bread. 
Biscuit, coffee. 
Candy, raisins. 

It was amusing to see the queer-looking creatures, dressed 
entirely in the skins of animals, seated at the table and 
trying to act like civilized people. Both the "Villain" and 
the "Daisy" did their parts well. One incident was especially 
funny. Myah, seeing a nice-looking piece of meat in the stew, 
reached across the table, and with his fork endeavored to pick 
it out of the dish. He was immediately reproved by the 
"Villain," who made him pass his mess-pan to him and then 
helped him to what he thought he ought to have, reserving, 
however, the choice piece for himself. They chattered and 
laughed, and seemed to enjoy themselves very much. Both 
women had their babies in their hoods on their backs, but this 
did not hinder them in the least. Although at times the 
noise was great, the little ones slept through it all. 

M'gipsu watched the cups of the others, and as soon as she 
spied an empty one she would say : " Etudoo cafee ? Nahme ? 
Cafee peeuk." (More coffee ? No? The coffee is good.) Fin- 



98 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

ally at ten o'clock the big lamp was put out, and we told them 
it was time to go to sleep, and that they must go home, which 
they reluctantly did. 

To-day has been a rather lazy day for us all, and now at 
ii P. M. Mr. Peary, Dr. Cook, and Matt have just come in 
from a visit to the fox-traps about two miles distant. On the 
return they indulged in a foot-race, and when they came in 
they looked as if they had been dipped in water. The per- 
spiration ran in streamlets down their faces. This trip has 
encouraged Mr. Peary very much in the belief that by next 
spring his leg will be just as good as it ever was. 

Saturday, January 2, 1892. I have been lazy about writing 
up my notes lately, but now I shall turn over a new leaf. 
1891 has gone; what will 1892 bring? I don't think I want 
to know. Better take it as it comes, and hope for the best. 
The "Villain" and his wife have gone to their home in Netchi- 
olumy, Myah and Kudlah also have left us, and, with the ex- 
ception of Keshu (alias the "Smiler") and his wife, all of our 
Eskimo visitors have departed ; Ikwa and family and An- 
nowkah and family remain, but they are not considered 
company at Redcliffe. 

The sun is surely coming back to us, for at noon now we 
have a perceptible twilight, and the cliffs opposite Redcliffe 
can be plainly seen. Since December 29 the weather has 
been very disagreeable, and we have considerable new snow. 
The whole week has been a semi-holiday. Almost every day 
I have been out for a snow-shoe tramp, and I have rather en- 



ARCTIC FESTIVITIES 99 

joyed it in spite of the wind, which is just high enough to be 
disagreeable. 

On the 3<Dth I issued cards of invitation for an " At home 
in the south parlor of Redcliffe, December 31, from 10 P. M. 
1891 to 1892." The day was a thoroughly Arctic one, and 
I was glad that my guests would not have far to come. . All 
day I was busy preparing for company. I had to manufac- 
ture my own ice-cream without a freezer, bake my own cake 
and crullers, and set everything out on an improvised side- 
board. At 9 P. M. I dressed myself in a black silk tea-gown 
with canary silk front, covered and trimmed with black lace, 
cut square in the neck and filled in with lace, and having lace 
sleeves. At ten my guests began to arrive. The invitations 
were limited to the members of the North Greenland Ex- 
pedition of '91 and '92, and they all looked especially nice 
and very much civilized, most of them actually sending in 
their cards. They were all dressed in "store clothes," al- 
though one or two clung to their kamiks. I had no chairs, 
so each guest was requested to bring his own. Mr. Peary sat 
on the bed, while I occupied the trunk. I spent a very de- 
lightful evening, and I think the boys enjoyed the chocolate 
ice-cream and cake. At midnight we all drank " A Happy 
New Year " in our Redcliffe cocktail, and then my guests 
departed. All this time the wind was howling and moan- 
ing, and the snow was flying, while the night was black as 
ink, not a star being visible. More than once during the 
evening, when a particularly heavy gust swept down from the 



IOO MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

cliffs and fell against our little house with a shriek, the con- 
trast between inside and outside was forced upon us. 

The next day we had a late breakfast, and then two of the 
boys went out to lay off a course for the athletic games 
which they had been discussing for some time. The weather 
was so bad that I did not go out to witness them, but let 
Matt go, and prepared our New- Year's dinner alone. This 
time Mr. Peary decided that he would give the natives the 
materials for their own New- Year's dinner and let them prepare 
it themselves. They were given eider-ducks, reindeer legs, 
coffee, and biscuit. We have quite a batch of new Eskimos, 
among them two men from Cape York, who are almost as 
tall as Mr. Peary, and whom we call the "giants." They 
have quite a number of narwhal tusks to trade, and are 
determined to have a rifle for them, but I hardly think they 
will get it. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE NEW YEAR 

The New Year Ushered in with a Fierce Storm Return of the Noon Twilight 
We fail to feel the Intense Cold Native Seamstresses and their Babies 
Some Drawbacks to Arctic Housekeeping Peculiar Customs of the Natives 
Close of the Winter Night. 

Saturday, January 9. The storm which began December 29 
has continued until this morning. Now it looks as though it 
might clear off. The new snow is about twenty-four inches 
deep on a level, and there are drifts as high as 1 am. 

Fortunately we had a good ice supply on hand, and no 
native visitors, for they drink twice as much water as we use 
for cooking, drinking, and toilet purposes combined. The 
boys have been busy on their individual ski and sledges ; 
Mr. Peary has been fitting and cutting fur clothing and 
sleeping-bags; and the "Daisy" has been sewing as hard as 
she can. The wind is still blowing in squalls, and of course 
the snow is still drifting, but the moon came out for a little 
while to-day, and we think and hope the storm is over. 

Monday, January n. At last clear and cold, and the twi- 
light is very pronounced in the middle of the day. Every- 
body is still busy sewing or carpentering. Each one of the 



IO2 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

party is desirous of having his ski lighter and stronger 
than those of the others, except Verhoeff, whose whole in- 
terest is divided between the thermometer and the tide-gage. 
The words of the physicians on board the " Kite " six months 
ago have come true Mr. Peary's leg is practically as sound 
as it ever was. 

Saturday, January 16. During the last week we have had 
beautiful weather calm, clear, and cold. Every day we have 
a more decided light, and I take advantage of it by indulging 
in long snow-shoe tramps. I can walk for hours without tiring 
if a single snow-shoer has gone before me; but if I attempt to 

break the path alone I soon get ex- 
hausted. I have been busy making 
foot-wraps out of blanketing, and 
have also made myself some articles 
of clothing out of the same material. 
We find that mittens made out of 
blanketing and worn inside the fur 
mittens absorb the moisture and add 
to the warmth and comfortable feeling. 
"\1 Hk^ My room has looked more like a 

In my Kooletah. gun-shop than anything else for the 

last few days; Mr. Peary has been putting a new spring in 
his shot-gun and overhauling an old rifle. 

Sunday, January 17. To-day at 2 P. M. Mr. Peary and 
I went out for our tramp. The temperature was -45, 
and the only chance to walk was along the pathway made 




THE NEW YEAR 103 

through the twenty-inch depth of snow three quarters of the 
way to the iceberg. It is astonishing how little I feel these 
low temperatures : Mr. Peary, however, always sees that I am 
properly protected. In many of the little details I should be 
negligent, and would probably suffer in consequence, but I 
have to undergo an inspection before he will let me go out. 

The daylight was bright enough to-day to enable us to read 
ordinary print, and we feel that ere long we shall have the 
sun with us again for at least a portion of the twenty-four 
hours. We stayed out only half an hour, but my dress for 
about two feet from the bottom was frozen stiff as a board, 
my kamiks were frozen to the stockings, and the stockings to 
the Arctic socks next my feet; yet I have felt much colder 
at home when the temperature was only a little below the 
freezing-point. 

The remainder of the day we spent in marking, clipping, 
and sorting newspaper cuttings. This occupation we found 
so interesting that we prolonged it until after midnight. 

Monday, January 18. The day has been bright and calm. 
Mr. Peary, with Dr. Cook and Astrup, took his first snow- 
shoe tramp of the season, and went nearly to the berg. This 
is the first time the broken leg has been given such vigorous 
exercise, but it stood the strain remarkably well. I have been 
busy on the sleeping-bag cover all day. I find it very incon- 
venient, not to say disagreeable, sewing in a temperature of 
44 ; but as I am dependent on the stoves in the other room 
for my heat, it cannot be helped. Verhoeff has a mania for 



104 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

saving coal, and keeps everybody half frozen. He kept the 
fire to-day on six tomato-cans of coal. Water spilled near the 
stove froze almost instantly. 

Tuesday, January 19. Somewhat cloudy to-day, but after 
lunch Mr. Peary and I went out to the berg on snow-shoes. I 
did not get a single tumble, and Mr. Peary said I managed my 
snow-shoes very well. I was as warm as any one could wish to 
be, although the thermometer registered 44 below zero. We 
took our time, not hurrying at all, and so prevented perspira- 
tion, which always makes one uncomfortable in these low 
temperatures. I had no shoes or kamiks on, only the deer- 
skin stockings, and a pair of long knit woolen ones over 
them, yet my feet were warmer than ever before on these 
outdoor tramps. 

Thursday, January 21. A clear and perceptibly lighter 
day than yesterday ; indeed, it seems as if it grew lighter now, 
a month after the shortest day, much more rapidly than it grew 
darker a month before the shortest day. Mr. Peary, the doc- 
tor, and Astrup started a path with their snow-shoes toward 
Cape Cleveland, and made about half the distance. The doc- 
tor and Astrup took our sledge, the " Sweetheart," to the ice- 
berg, intending to bring in a load of ice, but as they reached 
the berg they heard the howling of dogs ahead of them and 
saw a dark object on the snow some distance away. They 
started for it, and found a party of huskies plowing their way 
through the snow. The party consisted of Keshu, his wife 
and child of three years, his brother, Ahninghahna, older than 




' 



THE NEW YEAR IO5 

he, and Magda, a boy of twelve. They were on their way 
to Redcliffe. They had been staying with Keshu's father, 
Arrotochsuah, but as the food was giving out over there, and 
as the old people were not able to travel, they thought it 
desirable to look elsewhere. They all have frost-bites except 
the little child, and were very grateful for the assistance given 
them by the doctor and Astrup in getting to the house. They 
tell us that they have been on the way for five days and 
nights, the distance being about fifteen miles. To-night the 
woman was photographed, and her portrait added to our eth- 
nological series. 

Friday, January 22. Another clear, cold day; the temper- 
ature, 39. The addition of the new Eskimos makes the 
settlement much more lively. In the house I wear a knit 
kidney-protector, a Jaros combination suit, two knit skirts, a 
flannel wrapper, and a pair of knit stockings, together with a 
pair of deerskin ones in place of kamiks. When going out I 
only add my snow-shoes, my kooletah (great fur overall), and 
muff. In this rig I can stay out and walk for hours, and feel 
more comfortable than I have felt while shopping in Philadel- 
phia or New York on a winter's day. This evening Mane 
No. 2 (wife of Keshu) and M'gipsu have been at work in my 
room, both sitting flat on the floor, the former cutting and fit- 
ting two pairs of kamiks for us from a skin brought here by 
herself, for which she will receive a clasp-knife. The bargain 
pleases her greatly. These women are both good sewers, and 
it would interest some of our ladies to watch them at their 



106 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

work. They, as well as all the other native women, usually 
take off their kamiks and stockings while in the house, so that 
almost the entire leg is bare, their trousers being mere trunks. 
They sit flat on the floor, using their feet and legs to hold 
the work, and their mouths to make it pliable ; the thimble is 
worn on the forefinger, and they sew from right to left. The 
thread is made as they need it by splitting the deer or narwhal 
sinews and moistening them in the mouth. While at this 
work the babies are being continually rocked or shifted on 
their backs without the aid of the hands. The children are 
carried in the hood constantly, whether awake or asleep, for 
the first year, and only taken out when fed. They are tiny, 
ugly creatures, and until they are able to walk never wear 
anything but a sealskin cap which fits close about the face, 
where it is edged with fox, and a foxskin jacket reaching to 
the waist. 

Saturday, January 23. I cleaned "house," which means 
our little room, seven by twelve. This in itself would be no 
task, but we have no brooms, and every inch of my floor is 
swept with a whisk-broom and on my knees. As I have only 
one whisk, and that a silver- handled one, I can afford to sweep 
thoroughly only once a week. I have put an old blanket 
down which covers the carpet in the middle of the room, 
where all the walking and working is done. This blanket is 
shaken every day and the room brushed up, giving us a fairly 
clean apartment. I also finished the sleeping-bag cover. Now 
at midnight the temperature is 30^, and the doctor and 



THE NEW YEAR IO7 

Astrup have taken their sleeping-bags out under the boat as 
an experiment in sleeping in the open air. 

Monday, January 25. A clear, calm day, with the very 
bright daylight tipping all the bergs and crests of the cliffs 
with silver. The temperature is 29, and the landscape is a 
cold-looking one, but its aspect does not 
chill us. It is certainly novel to feel so 
decidedly hot in a temperature of 30, 
while my handkerchief freezes stiff be- 





A Winter Recreation. My Cross-matched Team. 

fore I get through using it. I have been busy cutting and 
sewing a flannel lining for my reindeer knickerbockers, for 
which I utilized my old gray eiderdown wrapper. I also made 
out a schedule or bill of fare for the week, arranging the menu 
for each day, so as to get the greatest benefit from the patent- 
fuel stove and save as much oil as possible. 



108 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Thursday, January 28. About five o'clock I was called out 
to see the brightest aurora we had yet seen. It extended over 
us almost due east and west. 1 This night we succeeded in 
obtaining an observation of Arcturus. 

Friday, January 29. To-day we went out to the " amphi- 
theater berg," breaking a new path part of the distance 
warm as well as hard work. This evening, for the first time 
in our house, one of the women (Mane) stripped herself to the 
waist ; there she sat sewing away, in the midst of a crowd of 
huskies as well as our boys, just as unconcerned as if she were 
clad in the finest raiment. The men do this frequently when 
it gets too warm for them, but I never saw a woman do it 
before. It is true they are nearly always entirely nude in 
their igloos, and visiting Eskimos, as soon as they enter an 
igloo, take off every stitch, just as we lay aside our wraps and 
overcoats at home. This is done by both sexes. 

Sunday, January 31. Another month has slipped away, 
and I can say, " One month nearer home." I must admit I 
am very homesick at times. Hardly a night passes that I do 
not dream of some of my home folks. The bill of fare which I 
made out for last week, giving the times for cooking each dish 
on the patent-fuel stove, worked very well, and I can save 
about one quart of oil a day ; this will be of considerable help 
to us in case we shall be obliged to go to south Greenland in 
our boats. I walked down to the two first fox-traps, but 

1 This was the only aurora observed by us during our entire stay in the Arctic 
regions which was bright enough to cast a shadow. 



THE NEW YEAR IOQ 

found them completely snowed under. In places the snow- 
crust is hard enough to bear the weight of the body, but 
oftener one sinks in six or eight inches, and in places the sur- 
face snow has drifted considerably deeper. The temperature 
is about 20, and it has been thick and dark all day. Yes- 
terday Verhoeff went upon the cliffs and found the minimum 
thermometer registering only 24 as the lowest for the 
month, while at Redcliffe we have had it down to 53. 
Strange that on the hill-tops it should be so much warmer 
than here below. 

Tuesday, February 2. A beautiful, clear, cold day ; tem- 
perature, 35. We now have daylight from ten A. M. until 
three P. M., while there is a decided twilight from nine to ten 
and from three to four. We were inspected in daylight by 
the doctor, and we all show the effects of the long dark night ; 
Mr. Peary and Astrup, being the two fairest ones in the party, 
look the most sallow. We walked out to the amphitheater 
berg without snow-shoes. The left-hand column at the en- 
trance to the theater is a massive pillar of ice, like the whitest 
marble, about a hundred feet high ; inside the berg the snow 
was very deep. The right-hand side of the entrance had re- 
cently broken, and tons of the splintered ice were lying around. 
We saw the new moon one quarter full for the first time over 
the cliffs to the north, while the glow from the setting sun to 
the southwest made a most beautiful picture ; the tops of the 
bergs in the distance were completely hidden in the low line 
of mist rising from the cracks in the ice, which gave them 



IIO MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

the appearance of long flat rocks in the midst of the snow- 
plain. 

Friday, February 5. This morning all our Eskimo visitors 
left us, and things are once more running in the old groove. 
I have not been out for several days in consequence of a sore 
toe. I have finished blanket sleeves for all the sleeping-bags, 
and yesterday boiled my first pudding. To-night about eight 
o'clock noises were heard out on the ice, and in a little while 
Arrotochsuah and his wife arrived, with one large dog and one 
puppy. They were very much fatigued, having been five 
days and four nights on their way over. These old people 
seem very fond of each other, and share whatever they get. 
Their food-supply having given out, they are on their way 
to their son's igloo at Netchiolumy, forty-five miles distant, 
whither they intend to travel on foot, part of the way through 
snow two feet deep. The woman, seemingly sixty years of 
age, says they tumble into the snow every few steps, but up 
they get and stagger on, and in this way they make the trip 
with packs on their backs. 

Thursday, February 1 1. Just seven months ago to-day Mr. 
Peary broke his leg, and he celebrated the event by taking a 
ten-mile tramp on the bay ice. His leg did not trouble him 
at all, and did not swell very much. To-day we have been 
married three years and a half. It seems as if I had been 
away from home as long as that, and yet it was only eight 
months on the 6th of February since I left Washington. 

Saturday, February 13. We are making preparations to 



THE NEW YEAR III 

witness the return of the sun. Gibson and Verhoeff have 
erected a snow-house on the ice-cap, and Mr. Peary has in- 
vited us all to accompany him to-morrow to the summit, and 
welcome the reappearing luminary. My head has been aching 
very badly all day, and I do not feel in condition to spend the 
night in a snow-hut, so I shall stay at home and keep house. 
It will be pleasant to exchange the strange daylights we have 
been having for weeks daylights without a sun for the 
vivifying glow of direct sunlight. 



CHAPTER X 

SUNSHINE AND STORM 

Return of the Sun Furious Storm and Inundation at Redcliffe Repairing the 
Damage Verhoeff 's Birthday Fears for Dr. Cook and Astrup Rescue of 
Jack Battling with an Arctic Hurricane Down with the Grippe Daz- 
zling March Scenery The Commander has the Grippe Astrup and Gibson 
reconnoiter after Dogs The Widow returns a Bride The Snow begins to 
Melt Sunning Babies on the Roof. 

Sunday, February 14. At home this is St. Valentine's day. 
Here it is simply Sunday, and for me a lonely one. This 
morning Mr. Peary, Astrup, and Dr. Cook started for the 
mountain-top with their sleeping-gear and provisions for two 
days. The day has been misty, cloudy, and rough. At six A. M. 
the temperature was ii^, and at eight it was 33, with the 
wind blowing a gale that shook the doors and windows of 
our little home for the first time since it was really finished. 
At eight in the evening the mercury had fallen one degree, 
and the wind was blowing in gusts, but with greater force 
than before. I am worried about our travelers. Gibson just 
brought in a piece of ice perfectly wet and covered with wet 
snow, which shows the effect of the high temperature. He 
says he can hardly stand up against the wind, but that it is 
warm, almost balmy. Jack came to the door and whined 



SUNSHINE AND STORM 113 

piteously to be let in, something I have never known him to 
do before. Now at 10.45 it is raining hard. 

Monday, February 15. What a wretched twenty-four hours 
the past have been ! All night the wind blew in violent gusts, 
sometimes accompanied by wet snow and sometimes by rain. 
This morning the whole place appears in a dilapidated condi- 
tion. A thaw has set in, and the water is running in every 
direction. The inmates of the snow-igloo were forced to leave 
it, and to-night one could read through its walls, the action of 
the wind, water, and temperature has worn them so thin. Part 
of our snow-wall has fallen, or rather melted down, and the 
water is pouring down the sides of the house into the canvas- 
covered passages, soaking everything. The thermometer reads 
38, and the wind still blows, while it continues to rain and 
snow. With Matt's assistance I have moved everything out 
of the lean-to back of the house, and have had all the cutlery 
brought in, some of which was already covered with rust. At 
two o'clock the water began to come in under my back door, 
and then Gibson, who has the night-watch, and therefore the 
right to sleep during the day, got up, and with Matt went on 
the roof and shoveled the snow off to prevent the water from 
leaking into the house. It was all they could do to keep from 
being blown down, and in ten minutes both were drenched to 
the skin. If our little party on the ice have this wind and 
rain, I do not see what they can do. Their snow-hut will 
melt over them, and they will be wet and cold, while in such 
a wind it will be impossible to venture down the cliffs. To- 



114 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

night the temperature has fallen to 33, but otherwise things 
are unchanged. At two p. M. the maximum thermometer 
registered 41^2. This temperature will hardly be equaled at 
this time in New England. 

Tuesday, February 16. A glorious day follows thirty-six 
hours of violent storm. The sun shines on Cape Robertson 
and on the snow-covered cliffs east of Redcliffe House. I 
walked down to Cape Cleveland with Jack, my faithful atten- 
dant. The sun had just gone behind the black cliffs of Her- 
bert Island, and the glare was still 
so bright that it hurt my eyes to 
look at it. I never appreciated the 
sunlight so much before ; involun- 
tarily it made me feel nearer home. 
The sky was beautifully tinted 
pink and blue in the east, light 

orange in the south, a deep yel- 
An Arctic Tot. 

low and crimson in the northwest. 

Fleecy clouds tinged with rose floated overhead, while the air 
was calm and balmy. How thoroughly I should have enjoyed 
my walk amid the exquisitely colored surroundings had I 
known how it fared with my husband on the ice above! 
Reaching the house at 1.45, I found no tidings of the party, 
and so watched and waited, until at last a lone figure rounded 
the mile point. Although I could not see anything beyond 
a dark spot on the ice moving toward the house, I knew it 
must be Mr. Peary, for, in spite of his long-forced inactivity 




SUNSHINE AND STORM 115 

and his broken leg, he still outwalks the boys. I started out 
with Jack, and we soon met. The party were all right, but 
had had a pretty hard time of it. 

Thursday, February 18. A bright, sunny day. We have 
been busy rebuilding the snow entrance which was washed 
away by the recent thaw and rain. This completed, Mr. Peary 
got out his " ski " and began coasting down the hill back of the 
house. Astrup and the doctor joined in the sport, and even 
the huskies got their sleds and coasted on them. I spent the 
time in taking photographs of the boys, especially in their 
grotesque tumbles. 

Friday, February 19. Another cloudy day; it seems as if 
the sun had not yet become accustomed to his new route and 
forgets us every other day. The old couple started for Netchi- 
olumy this morning, and Ikwa went off with his sledge and 
our mikkies to bait fox-traps. After lunch Astrup and the 
doctor went on the cliffs to build three cairns from Cape 
Cleveland to Three-Mile Valley, expecting to get back by 
supper-time. At six o'clock they had not returned, but we 
were not alarmed, and put their supper away for them. About 
seven Ikwa came in, and reported that while passing Cape 
Cleveland he had heard the rumbling of a snow-slide down the 
steep sides of the cliffs, but it was too dark for him to see any- 
thing. At 9. 1 5 the old couple returned, saying the snow was 
too deep for them to travel, and they are therefore going to 
stay here for a while. The truth is, they like it here, and 
think they had better let well enough alone. They said that 



Il6 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

in passing Cape Cleveland they heard Jack bark and Dr. Cook 
halloo to them. This, together with Ikwa's story of the snow- 
slide and the non-appearance of the boys, made us think that 
something might have happened to them, so Mr. Peary and 
Gibson started for the Cape at once (about ten P. M.). When 
they reached it they heard Jack whining, crying, and barking 
by turns, and on going around the Cape they found quantities 
of loose snow evidently lately brought down from the cliffs, 
and in the middle of this heap a snow-shoe ! Mr. Peary called 
and called, but the only answer received was Jack's cry, nor 
would the animal come down. Mr. Peary at once started 
back to Redcliffe on almost a run Gibson had all he could 
do to keep up with him intending to procure ropes, sledges, 
sleeping-bags, alpenstocks, lanterns, etc., and to call out all 
the men in the settlement in order to begin at once a close 
search of the almost vertical cliffs, covered with ice and snow, 
where Jack was, and where he supposed the boys might also 
be, perhaps badly bruised and mangled, or overcome by the 
cold. In the meantime, to our great relief, both boys appeared 
at Redcliffe, exhausted and hungry. They said they had 
reached Cape Cleveland about 1.30 P. M. and started up the 
cliff ; it was very steep and seemed unsafe for about one third 
of the way, but after that it appeared to be easy climbing. 
When, however, they had ascended three hundred feet, pro- 
gress became increasingly difficult, the course being over round 
stones covered with ice, where it was impossible to cut steps. 
On looking down they found, to their horror, that it would be 




MY FAITHFUL COMPANIONS, "JACK" AND "FRANK. 



SUNSHINE AND STORM 1 1/ 

impossible to return, the cliff being too steep and slippery. 
Here Astrup dropped a snow-shoe Ikwa's snow-slide 
which he had been using to punch steps in the snow and to 
scrape places among the icy stones for a foothold. This left 
them only the one which the doctor was using. Further pro- 
gress was very slow ; they knew that their steps had to be 
firm, for one misstep would send them to their doom. To add 
to their difficulty it began to grow dark, about four P. M., when 
they were not more than half-way up ; poor Jack was unable 
to follow them any longer up the steep, icy wall, and, likewise 
unable to go down, he began to howl and cry piteously at 
being left. The howl of a dog under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances is horrible. To the boys it sounded like their 
death-knell. They heard the old people pass along the bay, 
and called to them. Finally they reached the top, and then 
ran along to Mile Valley above the house and came down it to 
the bay, in this way missing Mr. Peary. 

Sunday, February 21. Yesterday we made an unsuccessful 
effort to rescue Jack, and this morning the attempt was resumed 
by Mr. Peary and Dr. Cook. I was to meet them at noon with 
lunch. About ten o'clock the boys reported a wind-storm 
down at Cape Cleveland ; the snow was driving off the cliffs 
in thick clouds, and the whole sky became black. The storm, 
however, did not strike Redcliffe, but passed to the east, and 
we could see it at work at the head of the bay. Believing it 
to be over at the Cape, I started on snow-shoes, with shotgun 
on my shoulder, and with a gripsack containing tea, boiler, 



Il8 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

cups, spoons, alcohol-stove and alcohol, potted turkey and 
biscuits, and sugar and milk. On turning the first point the 
wind struck me, but, thinking it was only a squall left by the 
recent storm, I hastened on as best I could. Finally I left the 
path and went inshore, but could not see where I stepped, 
and was blown down several times. I relieved myself of the 
snow-shoes and gun, but was again knocked about by the 
wind, and had my breath completely taken away by the snow 
driving in my face. I finally met Mr. Peary with our good 
dog Jack, and we reached home late in the afternoon, tired 
and sore. 

Monday, February 22. Washington's birthday; grand- 
mother's birthday. Our dinner consisted of venison pie with 
corn, broiled guillemot breasts and green peas, chocolate, and 
apple pandowdy. The day has been cloudy and misty. 

Sunday, March 6. I am recovering from an attack of the 
grippe. Tuesday, February 23, after going to bed I had a chill, 
and all night my back and every bone in my body ached. In 
the morning my aches increased and I was in a fever. Of 
course Mr. Peary called in the doctor, and between them they 
have brought me round. I went out for the first time yester- 
day, Mr. Peary pushing me on the sledge to the tide-gage, 
where the sun was shining beautifully. 

Tuesday, March 8. Yesterday was a bright, cold day. Matt 

returned from a four days' deer-hunt at the head of the bay, 

during which he experienced a temperature of from 40 to 

- 50. Gibson has had everything he possesses put in order 



SUNSHINE AND STORM 119 

for a hunt with Annowkah, in Five-Glacier Valley. He took 
two reindeer sleeping-bags, his full deerskin suit, a sealskin 
suit, heavy woolen shirts, stockings ad libitum, a heavy pair 
of blankets, a tarpaulin, and sundry small articles, besides an 
Eskimo lamp and blubber, which he proposes to keep burning 
in the igloo all the time. 

Tuesday, March 22. The last two weeks have been entirely 
uneventful, our time having been largely occupied in prepara- 
tions for various hunting-trips and the great inland journey 
the fashioning of experimental clothing, making of sledges, 
etc. The temperature has been steadily rising, but we have 
had some sharp reminders of an Arctic winter's force ; on the 
1 4th, when the sun shone for the first time on the window of 
our room, the mercury was still 35. The landscape is now 
resplendent in its glory, but the beauties of the snow-plain are 
here wasted on the desert air. Day before yesterday Mr. 
Peary made a reconnoissance of the ice-cap, traveling about 
twenty-two miles, and reaching an elevation of 3800 feet ; his 
minimum temperature was 32 as against 25 at Redcliffe. 
To-morrow he intends to start for Netchiolumy. 

Sunday, April 3. The past week has been a long and anx- 
ious one for me. Mr. Peary's indisposition last Sunday turned 
out to be an attack of the grippe, and for two days he was 
very sick, his fever running up to 103.8. It was accompanied 
with vomiting, coughing, and violent headache. Tuesday 
night his temperature went down to normal, and he felt better 
but weak, and this weakness he fought against with the un- 



120 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



reasonableness of a child. Wednesday he said he would start 
for Netchiolumy, in spite of my protestations, telling me I was 
childish to suppose he did not know what was best for him ; 
and not until the doctor told him that there was danger of 
pneumonia, and that he must take the responsibility if he per- 
sisted in going, did he reluctantly yield. Thursday night his 
temperature began to rise again in consequence of over- exer- 
tion. Friday he still fought against lying down and keeping 
quiet, and Saturday and Sunday he had a relapse, his fever 
reaching 102.2, and leaving him weaker than before. I have 
done nothing but watch over him, and it has kept me busy 
day and night. 

The weather during the week has been beautiful, and the 
sunshine is appreciated by us more and 
more every day. 

Yesterday, late in the evening, two men 
were seen coming toward the house from 
the direction of Cape Cleveland. They 
proved to be Kyo and Keshu, the Cape 
York dudes. They said quite a number of 
people were in a deserted igloo on Herbert 
Island and would be along by and by. It 
seems our former visitor, the widow Klayuh, 
whose husband was drowned while har- 
pooning an oogzook seal last fall, and who 
stopped here with her three children on 
One of our Visitors. her way to Cape York to see her dying 




SUNSHINE AND STORM 121 

father, has consoled herself by becoming Kyo's wife, and she is 
among those who are to come. This morning both Eskimos 
started off to bring their friends, together with their sledges 
and dogs, over to Redcliffe. As Mr. Peary is anxious to get 
some dogs, he sent Gibson and Astrup to follow them and see 
that they brought all the animals with them. 

Monday, April 4. About two o'clock this morning our 
expected visitors arrived, and reported that they had seen 
nothing of Gibson and Astrup, nor of Kyo and Keshu. The 
arrivals are Klayuh and her two children the elder, Tooky, 
apparently a young lady (as she has her beau in tow), although 
they give her age as only twelve suns ; and the younger, a 
girl of five or six suns Tooky's admirer, Kookoo, Klayuh's 
stepmother, a widow of three months, with her small child on 
her back, and her beau Ahko. Not knowing that her hus- 
band was dead, and in order to say something to her when 
she came in my room, I asked her if the man accompanying 
her was her husband, when, to my surprise, she burst into 
tears and sobbed out that her husband was dead. I began to 
talk in a sympathetic manner, when she suddenly dried her 
eyes and interrupted me with, " Utchow, utchow, mikky 
sungwa Ahko wenia awanga " (wait, wait a little while, and 
Ahko will be my husband). This forenoon another couple 
arrived, both rather youthful in appearance, and the woman 
quite small ; they too had seen nothing of the boys. Just as 
we were through with dinner Astrup came in and said Gibson 
was coming with Kyo and Keshu and eight dogs ; in about 



122 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

an hour and a half they arrived. After dinner I helped Mr. 
Peary reload one of his cameras, and in this operation I could 
see how nervous he still is. For the first time since I have 
known him he has the blues, and pretty badly at that. He has 
lost confidence in himself, and is harder to nurse than after 
his accident on board of the " Kite." However, he insisted on 
photographing and measuring all the newcomers, and this kept 
us up until nearly two o'clock Mr. Peary photographing, the 
doctor measuring, and I recording. I saw that he was very 
much exhausted, and I gave him his salt-water sponge-bath 
under the blankets, after which he slept well, something he 
has not done of late. 

Wednesday, April 6. Yesterday the sun was warm enough 
to melt the snow on top of the house, and I put my eiderdown 
pillows out for an airing. To-day has been so lovely that the 
women took their sewing on top of the house, where they also 
took their babies, stripped them, and placed them on a deer- 
skin, allowing the sun to beat upon them. The little ones 
crowed and seemed to enjoy it hugely. In company with 
Astrup and Annowkah Mr. Peary sledged across to Herbert 
Island to get some blubber for Annowkah's family that had 
been cached there last summer. He got back at midnight 
and looked very tired, having walked at least twenty-five 
miles, but he is in better spirits, and I hope the trip will bene- 
fit him in spite of his fatigue. During his absence I thawed, 
scrubbed, cut up, and tried out twenty-five pounds of bacon, 
getting twelve pounds of clear fat; I also cut up and tried 
out four pounds of toodnoo (venison tallow), which gave me 



SUNSHINE AND STORM 123 

two and a half pounds of grease. This is to be utilized in the 
lunches for the advance party. It took me about eight hours 
to do all this. 

Saturday, April 9. This morning we found the doctor down 
with the grippe. Poor fellow, I am afraid he will have a hard 
time of it. The boys have no consideration for the sick, and he 
is right out in the noise and turmoil all the time. At eleven A. M. 
Mr. Peary started with his six best dogs and Keshu for Her- 
bert Island to bring back some seals cached there for dog- 
food. He rode the whole distance over, which, measured by 
the odometer, was 14.06 miles. During his absence I worked 
on canvas-bags for various instruments and on cording the 
sails intended for our sledges. At 11.30 P. M., it being day- 
light throughout the twenty-four hours, I started to meet Mr. 
Peary, but had only walked half a mile when I saw him com- 
ing. The day has been, as usual, fine ; temperature ranging 
from 9 to 22. We have now a team of ten good dogs, 
a very cheering sight for us. Mr. Peary feels confident that he 
will get more, and this means assured success on the inland ice. 




CHAPTER XI 

SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 

The Start from Redcliffe Our Team Temporary Village on Northumberland 
Island A Crazy Woman A Never-to-be-forgotten Night in a Native Snow- 
igloo From the Snow-village to Keati Across Whale Sound to Netchiolumy 
An Eskimo Metropolis Aged Dames From Netchiolumy to Ittiblu 
Midnight Glories The Solitary Habitation at Ittiblu and its Inhabitants My 
Coldest Sleep in Greenland Nauyahleah, the Ancient Gossip A Native 
Graveyard From Ittiblu to the Head of Inglefield Gulf Meeting with a 
Traveling-party. 

Monday, April 18. Having completed our arrangements 
for a week's exploration of Inglefield Gulf, we started from 
Redcliffe about noon with the large dog-sledge, drawn by six 
dogs and driven by Kyo. 

The day was very bright, and the sun shone warm all the 
time. The traveling as far as Cape Cleveland was good, but 
then it began to grow heavy, and before we had gone half- 
way across there were places where the dogs sank in to their 
bellies and almost swam, while we sank down to our knees in 
a semi-slush ; the sledges, however, went along nicely. For- 
tunately, there were only a few such places, and as we got 
near the west end of Herbert Island the ice became smoother 
and harder, and the dogs sped along, two of us riding at a 
time, and sometimes all three. 

124 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 125 

Our sledge reached the west end of Herbert Island at eight 
o'clock, and two hours later, having crossed over to Northum- 
berland Island, we came upon a cantonment of four snow- 
igloos. These were occupied by families from different settle- 
ments, who congregated here to be near a patch of open water 
a short distance off, where they caught seal. The largest 
snow-igloo was occupied by Tahtara, his wife, his father and 
mother, and some small children. This was put at our dis- 
posal ; another was occupied by Ikwa and family, together 
with Kyoshu and his son, while Myah and his wife were ac- 
commodated in a third. The mistress of the remaining igloo 
was making an awful noise and trying to come out of her 
habitation, while a man was holding her back and talking to 
her, but she screamed and struggled so long as we remained 
where she could see us. I asked Mane what was the nature 
of the trouble, and she told me that the woman was pi-bloc- 
to (mad). 

As the wind was blowing fiercely and the air was thick with 
drifting snow, Mr. Peary urged me to come into the igloo, 
which I did, rather to please him than to get out of the storm. 
Now as long as I have been in this country I have never en- 
tered an Eskimo hut ; hearing about the filth and vermin was 
quite enough for me. But Mr. Peary said the snow-house 
was much cleaner, etc., etc., and seeing that it really made 
him uncomfortable to have me stay outside, I yielded. Can I 
ever describe it? First I crawled through a hole and along 
a passage, about six feet, on my hands and knees ; this was 



126 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

level with the snow outside. Then I came to a hole at the 
end of the passage and in the top of it, which seemed hardly 
large enough for me to get my head through, and through 
which I could see numberless legs. Mr. Peary called for me 
to come, so the legs moved to one side and I wedged myself 
into the aperture and climbed into a circular place about five 
feet high, the floor of which, all of snow, was about two feet 
higher than that of the tunnel. A platform one and a half 
feet above this floor, and perhaps four feet wide in the middle 
and two and a half feet at the sides, ran all around the walls 
of the igloo, except that part in which the aperture or door 
came up in the floor. The middle of this platform for about 
five feet was the bed, and it was covered with two or three 
tooktoo skins, which almost crawled away, they were so very 
much alive. On this bed sat Tahtara's mother, tailor-fashion, 
with a child on her back ; another woman, younger by far, 
and rather pretty, his wife ; and two children, about six and 
eight years old ; and on the edge, with his feet resting on a 
chunk of walrus, from which some hungry ones helped them- 
selves whenever they wanted to, regardless of the fact that a 
number of feet had been wiped on it, and that it was not only 
frozen solid but perfectly raw, sat Tahtara himself, smiling and 
saying, " Yess, yess," to everything that Mr. Peary said to 
him. Mr. Peary had also taken a seat on the edge of this 
bed, and the women immediately made room for me between 
them ; but this was more than I could submit to, so, excusing 
myself by saying that my clothing was wet from the drifting 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 127 

snow and that I could not think of getting their bedding wet, 
I sat down, not without a shiver, on the edge beside Mr. 
Peary, selfishly keeping him between the half-naked women 
and myself. 

The sides of this platform on either side of the doorway 
were devoted to two ikkimers (stoves), one of which was 
tended by Tahtara's mother and the other by his wife. These 
stoves were very large and filled with chunks of blubber ; over 
each hung a pan, made of soapstone, containing snow and 
water, and above these pans were racks or crates, fastened very 
securely, on which the inmates flung their wet kamiks, stock- 
ings, mittens, and birdskin shirts. The drippings of dirt, 
water, and insects fell invariably into the drinking-water. I 
say " drinking-water " ; they have no water for any other 
purpose. Mr. Peary had put our Florence oil-stove on the 
side platform and was heating water for our tea. Fortunately 
our teapot had a cover on it, which I made my business to 
keep closed. 

Besides the persons mentioned there were always as many 
husky visitors as could possibly pack in without standing 
on one another. These took turns with those unable to get 
in, so that after one had been in a while and gazed at the 
circus, he would lower himself through the trap and make way 
for a successor among the many crouching in the passageway 
behind him. This was kept up throughout the night. Of 
course the addition of our stove, together with the visitors, 
brought the temperature up rapidly, and to my dismay the 



128 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Eskimo ladies belonging to the house took off all of their 
clothing except their necklaces of sinishaw, just as uncon- 
cernedly as though no one were present. 

The odor of the place was indescribable. Our stove did 
not work properly and gave forth a pungent smell of kero- 
sene ; the blubber in the other stoves sizzled and sometimes 
smoked; and the huskies well, suffice it to say that was a 
decidedly unpleasant atmosphere in which I spent the night. 

I soon found that if I kept my feet on the floor they would 
freeze, and the only way I could keep them off the floor was 
to draw up my knees and rest the side of one foot on the edge 
of the platform and place the other upon it. In this way, and 
leaning on my elbow, I sat from ten at night until ten in the 
morning, dressed just as I was on the sledge. I made the 
best of the situation, and pretended to Mr. Peary that it was 
quite a lark. 

Mr. Peary went out to look after the dogs several times 
during the night, and each time reported that the wind was 
still blowing fiercely and the snow drifting. In the morning 
the wind had subsided somewhat, and after coffee the dogs 
were hitched, and we resumed our journey, heading for Keati. 

After traveling about an hour we came upon a single stone 
igloo, which proved to be Nipzangwa's ; he and his father, old 
Kulutunah, immediately came out to meet us. We reached 
Keati, the inhabitants of which had been apprised in advance 
of our coming by special messenger, about noon, and an hour 
later, reinforced with additional dogs, started across the Sound 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 



129 



for the settlement on Barden Bay (Netchiolumy). Ikwa fol- 
lowed with his dogs and sledge. The traveling was fine, and 
the dogs took our sledge, with all three of us riding, along 
at a trot all the way. We arrived at our destination about 
six P. M., the odometer registering 14.4 miles from Keati. 

Here we found a great many natives, probably sixty, most 
of whom we had already seen at Redcliffe during the winter. 




-v "x ^ t... T ? '." .'.' ' 



Map of Whale Sound and Inglefield Gulf. 

In addition to the regular inhabitants of the place there were a 
half-dozen families from Cape York and its vicinity, who were 
stopping in snow-igloos on their way home from Redcliffe. 
The winter is their visiting time, and only during this season 
do the inhabitants of one place see those of another; they 
travel for miles and miles over the ice, some with dogs and 



130 MY AR^ 

some without, but there is invariably at least one sledge with 
every party. This year the travel has been unusually brisk, 
owing to the American settlement, which all were anxious to 
visit. Where a family has a sledge and two or three dogs, 
they load it with a piece of raw walrus or seal (enough to last 
them from one village to the next), anything and everything 
that can be scraped together for trade, one or two deerskins 
for bedding, and the smallest child that has outgrown the 
mother's hood. The rest of the family then take turns in rid- 
ing, one at a time, while two push the sledge. 

On our arrival at the igloos we were immediately sur- 
rounded by the natives ; two very old women in particular 
were led to me, and one of them, putting her face close to 
mine much closer than I relished scrutinized me carefully 
from head to foot, and then said slowly, " Uwanga sukinuts 
amissuare, koona immartu ibly takoo nahme," which means, 
" I have lived a great many suns, but have never seen any- 
thing like you." 

We had brought our things up to the igloos and intended 
to get our supper on the hill, but the native odor, together 
with that of passe pussy (seal) and awick (walrus) lying about, 
was too strong, and I suggested that we return to the sledge. 
The two old women who first greeted us, despite the fact that 
they could not walk alone, were determined to accompany us, 
and they were helped down the hill to the sledge. They 
looked as old and feeble as women at home do between eighty 
ind eighty-five. Never having seen such a sight, they could 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 131 

not let the chance go by, even at the expense of their little 
strength. Not being able to carry everything in one trip, I 
went back for the rest, preferring this to staying with the 
sledge, where the natives were now swarming, and wanting 
to handle everything they saw. When I came to the igloos 
again, Annowee, a Cape York woman, who had lately been to 
Redcliffe, began to beg me not to go down, but to have 
Mr. Peary come up to her; she had " ah-ah " (pain) in her 
knees and could not possibly make the descent. She wanted 
to see us as long as she could, as she would never see our 
like again. All this time she was not only talking loudly, 
but clutching at my arm whenever I turned to go, and when 
I said, " Utchow, utchow, wanga tigalay " (just wait, I am 
coming back), she said, " Peeuk," but did not want me to 
take the things down for fear I should not come back. The 
other women now closed about me, and all begged me to stay. 
Mr. Peary, who remained with the sledge, was somewhat dis- 
turbed by my position, but it was all done in kindly feeling. 
In spite of the fact that Annowee " could not come down," 
she was at the sledge almost as soon as I was. 

We took our supper, after which we bartered for tanned 
oogzook-sinishaw (seal-thong), sealskins, bearskin trousers, 
and two dogs. Old Ahnahna gave me a scolding for the bene- 
fit of her companions because I would not give her a needle ; 
she said Mr. Peary was " peudiochsoa " (very good) but " Mit- 
tie " Peary was " peeuk nahme " that I used to give her nee- 
dles, but now I would not do it, etc. While saying this she 



132 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

was laughing all the time, and when I gave her a cup of tea 
and a cracker she changed her opinion of me at once. 

Mr. Peary walked to the Tyndall Glacier and took photos of 
it, and of the village and the natives. Kyo then hitched up 
the dogs, we said good-by all around, Ikwa included, and at 
eight o'clock left for Ittiblu. 

To show how sharp these semi- savages are, I may mention 
the following incident : On the way from Keati to Netchiolu- 
my we dropped at different times three snow-shoes from our 
sledge, but seeing Ikwa behind us pick them up, we did not 
stop for them. On reaching Netchiolumy he brought them to 
us, and said they were fine for us, were they not ? We said yes. 
" Well," he said, " if I had not picked them up you would not 
have them, and as my eyes hurt me very much, and I see you 
have them to spare, you should give me a pair of smoked 
glasses." I thought so too, and he got what he asked for. 

We had the perfection of traveling. The surface of Whale 
Sound was just rough enough to prevent it from being slip- 
pery, and yet so smooth that the sledge went along as if it 
were running on a track. 

Mr. Peary, Kyo, the driver, and myself were all three seated 
upon the sledge, which in addition was heavily laden with 
our sleeping-bags, equipment, provisions, etc., and yet the nine 
handsome creatures, picked dogs of the tribe, who were pull- 
ing us, immediately broke into a run, and, with tails waving 
like plumes over their backs, kept up a brisk gait until we 
reached Ittiblu at two o'clock in the morning ; the odometer 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 133 

registered 21.94 miles. The night was a beautiful one. The 
sun shone brightly until near midnight, when it went down 
like a ball of fire, tinging the sky with crimson, purple, and 
yellow lights, which gradually faded out and left a dull gray- 
ish blue, which in turn changed to a gray just dark enough to 
show us the numberless stars that studded the firmament. 
When we reached Ittiblu the sun came up from behind the 
dark cliffs of the eastern shore of Inglefield Gulf. We had 
been traveling sixteen hours, and were pretty well tired out. 
Our dogs, too, were glad to have a meal and rest. 

We immediately set to work to build a snow-igloo of our 
own, on the icy floor of which we placed our sleeping-bags 

and everything that 

%& 
we did not wish 

handled by the in- 

habitants of the set- * 

tlement. While still f 

at work on this we 

were visited by two 

y 
residents, Panikpah, -.' 

a former visitor at 

Redcliffe, and Koo- Our Snow-igloo. 

menahpik, his father ; 

they showed a true native hospitality by asking us to share 

the comforts of their igloo an invitation, however, which we 

politely declined. 

Our igloo proved icy cold, and I shall never forget the 





134 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

difference of temperature between inside and outside. It was 
just like going from a cellar into a temperature of 90, and we 
resolved that unless it was storming we would in future sleep 
without shelter. Among our breakfast callers was the wife of 
Koomenahpik, Nauyahleah, the most comical old soul I had 
yet seen. She evidently felt it her duty to entertain me, and 
began to tell me all about herself and her family ; she let me 
know that I had already seen one of her sons at Redcliffe, 
whose name is Tawanah, and who lives still farther up Ingle- 
field Gulf; he had stopped at Ittiblu, she said, on his return 
from the Peary igloo, and told her what a large koona Peary's 
koona was, and how white her skin was, and that her hair was 
as long as she could stretch with her arms. She followed 
us wherever we went, and chatted incessantly whether we 
were taking photographs or making observations for latitude 
and time, it made no difference to her. If we did not answer 
her she would sing at the top of her voice for a few minutes, 
and then chatter again. She showed us a number of graves, 
which are nothing but mounds of stones piled on the dead 
bodies, and told us who lay beneath the rocks. 

At eight in the evening we left Ittiblu, with four additional 
dogs obtained from Panikpah. All night long we dashed on 
r over the smooth surface of Whale Sound, except where we 
passed Academy Bay. Here from one cape to the other 
the snow was soft and several inches deep. Again the sun 
only left us for a short time, and in spite of a temperature 
f ~35> tne "de was a delightful one. 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 135 

About two A. M. we were abreast of another beautiful 
glacier, a great river of ice slowly making its way from the 
eternal inland ice to the sea. The smooth and even appearance 
of all the glaciers, Mr. Peary told me, was due to the blanket 
of snow which covered them. 

It took us about an hour to pass the face of the ice-sheet, 
which in places towered above us to a height of one hundred 
feet and more. As we rounded the southwest corner Kyo 
sang out, " Inuits, Inuits," and, looking ahead, we saw an 
Eskimo snow-igloo built up against the rocks on the shore. 
Scattered about on the ice-foot lay about a dozen seals, some 
whole, and some partially cut up ; three or four young white 
seals, a number of sealskins, a large sledge and a small toy- 
sledge patterned exactly like the large one, and coils of seal- 
skin and walrus lines. In the " tochsoo," or entrance to the 
igloo, was tied a young dog, who had no idea of awakening 
his master, for he only looked at us and gave no sound. 

In response to Kyo's shouts a man came slowly crawling 
out, rubbing his eyes, and showing every evidence of having 
been suddenly awakened out of a sound sleep. This proved 
to be Kudlah, a young native whose home was at the head of 
Inglefield Gulf, and who on a visit to Redcliffe during the 
winter had been nicknamed by our boys " Misfortune." Kud- 
lah had a hang-dog sort of expression. We were told that a 
woman would only live with him a year and then leave him, 
it being the privilege of the Eskimo maiden to return to her 
parents' roof at the end of a year, provided there is no family, 



136 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

if she finds that she has made a mistake. " Misfortune " had 
grown very fond of the " kabloonah's kapah " (white man's 
food), especially coffee and crackers, during his visit at Red- 
cliffe, and he now came right to our sledge and asked if we 
had no " kapah " for him. He told us that he, with his wife, 
and Tawanah with his wife, a son twelve years of age, and 
three smaller children, were on their way to Redcliffe. They 
had left their home, Nunatochsoah, at the head of Inglefield 
Gulf, two days before, and had walked all day and until mid- 
night, when they built the snow-house and camped. The 
women and children being very tired, and seal-holes, whence 
young seals are procured, being plentiful in this neighborhood, 
they decided to rest a few days and hunt seal. I asked him 
where they found the pretty little white creatures, and he told 
me that the mother seal crawls out on the ice through the 
cracks and hollows out a place for herself under the snow, not 
disturbing the surface at all, except perhaps by raising it a 
little, and thus giving it the appearance of a snow-drift or 
mound. Here she gives birth to her young, and stays with 
them until they are old enough to take to the water, leaving 
them only long enough to get food for herself. 

To me these mounds did not seem different in appearance 
from the ordinary snow-mound, but the trained eye of the 
native immediately distinguishes the " pussy igloo " (seal- 
house) ; he walks softly up to it, and puts his ear close to the 
snow and listens. If he hears any sign of life he jumps on the 
mound as hard as he can, until it caves in, and then, with a 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 137 

kick in the head, he dispatches the young one. Then he lies 
in wait for the mother seal to return to her young, when she 
is promptly harpooned. 

While Kudlah was entertaining us, Tawanah and the two 
women came out of the igloo. The latter were very much 
interested in me, and wanted to know if there were any more 
women like me at Redcliffe. When told that there were not, 
but that they were plentiful in the American country, they 
asked, "Are they all so tall, and so white, and have they all 
such long hair? We never have seen women like you." 

Our driver had been refreshing himself with seal and blub- 
ber, and Mr. Peary now called to him to untangle the dogs, as 
we wished to continue our journey. This he did not like, and 
said the people were all gone, and there was no use in going 
any farther up the gulf. The snow, he said, was very deep, 
and the dogs would not be able to pull the load ; but Mr. 
Peary was firm in his decision to push on to the head of the 
gulf, if possible, in order to complete his surveys. Accord- 
ingly, at four A. M. we started again, and to our surprise Kud- 
lah and Tawanah accompanied us. When questioned as to 
their destination, Tawanah said they had a lot of sealskins 
and young seals at Nanatochsuahmy which he wanted to give 
Mr. Peary, and they were going as far as his igloo with us. 

In about three hours we came to a small island, and here 
we pitched camp. After a hearty supper of Boston baked 
beans, corned beef, and stewed tomatoes, with tea and crackers, 
we turned in, and what a delightful sleep we had ! The sun 



138 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



shone warm, and that peculiar stillness which is found only in 
the Arctic regions was conducive to long sleep. 

After supper we explored the little island and found the 
plateau covered with the tracks of deer and ptarmigan, but 
we could descry no living creature. The view from the sum- 
mit was very fine. We could see down the sound as far as 

Herbert Island, and 
almost up to the head 

N. 

of Inglefield Gulf ; on 
the right the eye took 
in the greater part of 
Academy Bay, and 
on the left in the dis- 
tance towered Mts. 
Putnam, Daly, and 
Adams. 

Arriving at Nuna- 
tochsoah, we spent 
about an hour in skir- 
mishing about the 
place, Tawanah taking us to various caches containing seal- 
skins, both tanned and untanned, and two caches containing 
young seals, about twenty-two in all. Kudlah, too, had a few 
seals and skins, and both men were anxious to barter their 
possessions with Mr. Peary for a knife and a saw. 




Mount Daly. 



CHAPTER XII 
THE SLEDGE JOURNEY (Continued) 

From Tawanah's Igloo to the Great Heilprin Glacier The Little Matterhorn 
A Wet Night Ptarmigan Island ' 'As the Crow flies " for the Eastern Bastion 
of Herbert Island A Nap in the Sunshine Back at Redcliffe A Busy Week 
of Preparation for the Start on the Inland Ice Canine Rivals. 

We unloaded our sledge, and, with Kudlah as our driver, 
continued the exploration of Inglefield Gulf to its head. In 
spite of Kudlah's having spent the entire time at Tawanah's 
in eating seal, we had scarcely traveled a mile before he said 
he was hungry for American kapah. When told it was not 
yet time, he turned his attention to the dogs again, but soon 
we saw that the dogs were having a go-as-you-please time, 
and on looking to the driver for the reason we found him sit- 
ting bolt- upright and fast asleep. We woke him, and to keep 
him awake I gave him some crackers to eat. They had the 
desired effect as long as they lasted, but as soon as they had 
disappeared off he went to sleep again, and I came to the con- 
clusion that they acted more as a narcotic than a stimulant, and 
discontinued them. 

Just before reaching the head of this great gulf we came to 
a nunatak in one of the numerous glaciers, shaped like the 



140 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Swiss Matterhorn, and we named it the Little Matterhorn. 
We were in an Alpine landscape, but the more striking fea- 
tures of the European ice-covered mountains were here brought 
out in increased intensity. Arrived at the head of the gulf, 
we were confronted by one of the grandest glaciers that we 
had yet seen. 

Never shall I forget my impressions, as, on this bracing 
April day, with the thermometer from 30 to 35 below zero, 
Mr. Peary and I, shod with snow-shoes, climbed over the deep- 
drifted snow to the summit of a black rock, destined in a few 
years to be engulfed by the resistless flow of the glacier, and 
from this elevated point looked out across the mighty stream 
of ice to the opposite shore, so distant as to be indistinct, even 
in the brilliant spring sunshine that was lighting all the scene. 
Looking up the glacier, the vast ice river disappeared in the 
serene and silent heights of the ice-cap. To think that this 
great white, apparently lifeless, expanse, stretching almost 
beyond the reach of the eye, is yet the embodiment of one of 
the mightiest forces of nature, a force against which only the 
iron ribs of mother-earth herself can offer resistance! As we 
stood there silent, a block of ice larger than many a pretentious 
house, yet but an atom compared with the glacier itself, pushed 
from its balance by the imperceptible but constant movement 
of the glacier, fell with a crash from the glacier face, sending 
the echoes flying along the ice-cliffs, crushing through the thick 
bay ice, and bringing the dogs, far below us, to their feet with 
startled yelps. 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 14! 

The glacier, which forms much of the eastern wall of Ingle- 
field Gulf, has a frontage of about ten miles, and is the largest 
of the series of giant glaciers in which are here concentrated 
the energies of the ice-cap. North of it lie the Smithson 
Mountains, and farther beyond, a vast congeries of ice-streams 
which circle westward and define the northern head of the gulf. 
To the eastern sheet, upon whose bosom no human being had 
ever stepped, and on whose beauty and grandeur no white 
person had ever gazed, we gave the name of Heilprin Glacier, 
in honor of Prof. Angelo Heilprin, of the Academy of Natural 
Sciences of Philadelphia. 

On the upward voyage to Greenland we had passed num- 
bers of glaciers, beginning with the great Frederikshaab ice- 
stream. I had seen the distant gleaming of the Jacobshavn 
Glacier, and after passing Upernavik we were never without 
a glacier in sight, and yet it was not until September, when 
Mr. Peary was able to get out in the boat, and we went to the 
head of McCormick Bay to see the inland ice-party off, that I 
came in actual contact with one of these streams of ice. About 
eight miles above Redcliffe, on the same side of the bay, there 
is a hanging glacier, which has peered at us past the shore 
cliffs ever since we entered McCormick Bay. This glacier is 
supported upon a great pile of gravel, looking like a railway 
fill, which gives it the appearance of being upon stilts. It was 
a peculiar experience to see the red-brown rocks and cliffs 
glowing in the sun, and this great vertical wall of blue ice 
standing out beyond them, with little streams of water trickling 



142 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

down from it, and occasionally fragments of ice breaking away 
and dashing down with a muffled, metallic sound ; and more 
than this, to find the ever-constant friend, the Arctic poppy, 
growing actually beneath the overhanging walls of the glacier. 
The great glaciers, too, that surround Tooktoo Valley, with its 
green meadows and glistening lakes, will always remain with 
me an exquisite recollection. 

Returning to our sledge, we made a direct line for our camp, 
which was reached after an absence of ten hours. 

Wearied with our journey, we immediately prepared to rest, 
and selected a sheltered nook on the sea ice, where the snow 
was several inches deep, and where we were protected from 
the light breeze which blows almost constantly by a huge but- 
tress of ice, part of the ice-foot. The memory of the delightful 
sleep of the night before, when we lay right out in the sun- 
shine, helped me to hurry the sleeping-bags into place and 
crawl into mine without losing much time. 

Tawanah came to me and asked if I would not like to have 
my kamiks and stockings put up on the rocks where the sun 
could shine on them and dry out what little moisture they 
might contain, and I told him to take them away. In what 
seemed to me only a few minutes, but what was actually four 
hours, I was awakened by some one grasping both sides of 
my sleeping-bag, evidently trying to stand it and its contents 
on end. The words " Don't roll over ; try to stand up as 
quickly as you can; the tide has risen above the ice," rang in 
my ears. On looking about me I saw that I had been lying 
in about six inches of water and peacefully sleeping. 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 143 

Fortunately I had a sealskin cover over my deerskin bag, 
and the water had not penetrated it ; therefore my deerskin 
knickerbockers and flannel wrapper, which' I always take off 
after I have pulled myself down in the bag, fold and place 
under me, were perfectly dry. My poor husband did not 
fare so well. He had folded his trousers, kamiks, and stock- 
ings and placed them under his head as a pillow, and of 
course they were soaking wet. Not having a cover to his 
sleeping-bag, the water had soaked through, and it was this 
that had wakened him. 

After a time we managed to dry out, and, continuing our 
journey, reached our little island at midnight. As we ap- 
proached the island numbers of ptarmigan were seen flying 
about the rocks, a circumstance which determined us to name 
the spot Ptarmigan Island. We secured a few of these beau- 
tiful, snow-white birds, and, after taking observations for posi- 
tion, proceeded on our course to Tawanah's igloo, which we 
reached shortly after four A. M. 

While preparing the morning meal, I was the center of an 
admiring circle^ Men, women, and children formed a perfect 
ring about me. Never had they seen such a stove, and never 
such cooking. They chattered incessantly, and plied me with 
so many questions that I began to despair of getting anything 
to eat. Finally I gave each a tin of coffee and some crackers, 
and this kept them busy long enough for me to eat my meal, 
and we then turned in. 

We awoke about four o'clock in the afternoon, and at once 
began our exploration of the surrounding cliffs and the neigh- 



144 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

boring glacier, which Mr. Peary considered one of the first 
magnitude, and named, after the distinguished secretary of the 
American Geographical Society, the Hurlbut Glacier. It was 
nine o'clock before we were through with exploring, photo- 
graphing, and making observations, and then we made a dash 
for the east end of Herbert Island. 

Mr. Peary laid our course down the center of the gulf, 
and we were beginning to calculate the time when we should 
reach Redcliffe, when suddenly we encountered deep, soft snow, 
through which the dogs could not pull the loaded sledge with 
any of us seated upon it. There was nothing left for us but 
to get off and walk, or rather wade through the snow. After 
a few hours of this tiring work the dogs refused to go farther, 
and it was only with special coaxing and driving that any 
progress was made. When at last we reached Herbert Island 
we were almost as glad as the dogs to be able to rest. Red- 
cliffe was still fifteen miles distant. 

Mr. Peary and I spread our sleeping-bags down on the snow 
out in the brilliant sunshine, and lay down on them for a nap. 
We had not been asleep long when I awoke and found that 
Mr. Peary had arisen and was walking rapidly in the direction 
of the ice-foot. He was following an Eskimo who had shoul- 
dered a. rifle, and my first impression was that the native had 
taken one of our own rifles from the sledge and was making 
off with it. 

At Kyo's call the retreating figure stopped short and turned 
back. He came directly to us, and we recognized him as 



SLEDGE JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 145 

Tahtara, the man at whose snow- igloo I had spent such a 
memorable night. He had been at Redcliffe, and was now 
out on a seal-hunt, with a companion, named Kulutingwah, 
who presently came dashing round with two fine-looking dogs 
and one of our sledges. 

These dogs were the most affectionate Eskimo dogs we had 
yet seen, and by far the prettiest. They were large, power- 
ful-looking animals, that dragged the sledge with three natives 
upon it through the soft snow as easily as if they had no load 
at all. They were the first dogs we had seen who were trained 
to obey their master's words without the aid of the whip. 
When Kulutingwah left his sledge-team he did not have to 
turn the sledge over and stick the upstanders into the snow to 
keep the dogs from running away, but simply told them to stay 
there, and with a low, deep growl they would stretch them- 
selves upon the snow and remain perfectly quiet until his re- 
turn, in spite of the tempting pieces of seal meat which might 
be lying around in their vicinity. 

After restowing our sledges we started homeward. Our 
dogs, like horses at home, seemed to smell the stable, and 
broke into a brisk trot, which they kept up until we reached 
Redcliffe, at nine in the evening, Sunday, April 24. 

Dr. Cook, who had been left in charge, had done good work 
during our absence of a week. Quite a number of natives from 
Netchiolumy, Keati, and the snow village had arrived, and 
among them an unusual number of lady visitors, all willing 
to sew for the " Americans " for the small consideration of 



146 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



a couple of needles. The doctor had set them to work on 
kamiks, fur mittens, fur stockings, and fur trousers, and they 
had worked like beavers all the week, while the men had put 
in their time hunting, and a goodly number of seals were 
added to the store of dog-meat. 

We were now in possession of twenty-two good dogs, the 
pick of all the dogs in the tribe, and Mr. Peary felt that the suc- 
cess of his long sledge journey was assured. Every pack of 
Eskimo dogs has its leader. If a new dog is added to the 
pack a fight takes place at once between 
him and the leader to determine his posi- 
tion in the team. Now, up to this time 
a great white shaggy brute, from Cape 
York, whom we called Lion, on account 
of his gray mane, had been the canine 
king of Redcliffe. With the arrival of 
Kulutingwah's fine dogs there came a 
change. Lion and his first lieutenant, a 
dog marked very much like himself, at 
once charged upon the new-comers, evi- 
dently expecting to thrash them into sub- 
jection as easily as had been done in the 

case of the other dogs, but he, for once, was doomed to dis- 
appointment ; although the fight raged fierce and long, poor 
Lion was vanquished, and forced to resign his position as king 
in favor of the larger of the new-comers, whom we called 
"Naleyah" (chief). 




Musical Dogs. 



CHAPTER XIII 

OFF FOR THE INLAND ICE 

The First Detachment of the Inland Ice-party leaves Redcliffe Departure of the 
Leader of the Expedition Rest after the Excitement Arrival of the Ravens 

Return of Gibson and Matt Gloomy Weather Daily Incidents at Redcliffe 

Spring Arrivals of Eskimos Eskimos imprisoned in their Igloos by a May 
Snow-storm The First Little Auks Open Water off Cape Cleveland Har- 
bingers of Summer Myriads of Auks and Seals Snow-buntings Green 
Grass and Flies Kyo, the Angekok. 

Saturday, April 30. The past week has been one of hustle 
and bustle. The overland ice journey has been uppermost in 
our minds and actions, and this morning the real start was 
made. All the boys except Verhoeff, with the dogs and five 
natives, left with three loaded sledges for the head of the bay, 
whither several loads of provisions had already been trans- 
ported. Mr. Peary is to follow in a few days. 

Wednesday, May 4. At 8.30 P. M. yesterday, Mr. Peary 
with Matt, who had returned for additional equipment, started 
for the head of the bay to join Gibson, Astrup, and Dr. Cook, 
who have been there since Saturday. I watched him out of 
sight, and then returned to the house, where Mr. Verhoeff and 
I will keep bachelor and maid's hall. For three full months I 



148 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



shall be without my husband a year of anxiety and worry 
to me. It has been arranged to have two of the boys accom- 
pany the expedition, merely as a " supporting-party," and their 
farthest point will probably be the Humboldt Glacier; I can 
therefore expect news from the interior in three weeks or less. 
The last ten days have been one continuous rush for me, and 




Preparing for the Start. 

part of the time I hardly knew where I was. After I am 
rested I shall begin a thorough overhauling of everything, and 
get things ready for packing. As I write, 11.45 P.M., the 
sun is shining, and as I think Mr. Peary will begin his march 



OFF FOR THE INLAND ICE 149 

to-night, I hope this morning's snow-storm has cleared the 
weather for some time to come. Strange coincidence : just 
six years ago I bade Mr. Peary good-by as he started on his 
first Greenland trip. May it be a good omen, and he return 
as successful as he did then! 

Saturday, May 7. The weather continues alternately dreary 
and pleasant, but the approach of springtime is unmistakable. 
Already the ravens have arrived, and moderate thaws have 
begun to loosen our covering of snow and ice. Shortly after 
six this morning I was awakened by hearing one of the hus- 
kies cry, " My tigalay, my tigalay " (Matt has returned), and 
in a minute later Matt and Gibson came in. The former had 
returned on account of a frozen heel, while Gibson came back 
for additional alcohol. In a note to me Mr. Peary stated that 
he had met with a severe obstacle in the way of heavy snow 
and steep up-grades, and therefore had not made the distance 
that he had hoped to cover in a week's time. 

Sunday, May 8. At last it seems to have cleared, but still 
the head of the bay is enveloped in mist. Gibson left us again 
yesterday, and he is probably with his party this evening. The 
thermometer is steadily rising, and with a temperature to-day 
of 28 everything has been dripping. I got all the snow off 
the roof of the house and the canvas-covered annex on the 
west side, as water had begun running down between the 
tarred paper. 

Tuesday, May 10. All night the wind blew a gale from 
the east and northeast, and all day the snow has been flying 



150 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

in clouds so thick that at times we could not see the tide- 
gage, a hundred yards distant. My thoughts have been 
continually with the little party on the ice. I know who will 
have the worst time, who will have to look out for everything, 
and it worries me because I know he is not as well as he ought 
to be. Everything around Redcliffe is hidden in the snow- 
drifts, and the snow has been coming in under the canvas until 
we have three feet of it in front of our door inside the in- 
closure, in spite of Matt's blocking all the openings in the 
walls. With Matt's help the range and lockers were moved 
out of my room to-day, and we found the wall and floor cov- 
ered with ice. I knocked off as much as I could, and removed 
the cardboard from the floor, and to-night the blanket and 
carpet at that end of the room have thawed and are dripping 
wet. This evening Kyo wanted to know if we would permit 
him to go with us beyond Cape York, to where the other 
Eskimos live (Upernavik, or Disko). I told him he could ; 
then he wanted to know if I would draw a map of Greenland, 
and mark our route upon it. He seemed to understand, and 
was pleased to know that he could go. 

Wednesday, May 1 1 . A beautiful day. The drifts are 
hard as marble. Matt shoveled the snow out of the entrance, 
and we once more opened our windows. The drip from the 
roof has forced us to remove all the snow and ice, and we are 
thus recovering our non-wintry appearance. 

Friday, May 13. Contrary to all expectations, last night 
and to-day have been warm and bright. All the huskies 



OFF FOR THE INLAND ICE 151 

gathered on our roof, which is dry and retains the sun's heat. 
Noyah, the baby, rolled about entirely naked in a tempera- 
ture of 22, except for a cap, which was nothing more or less 
than the toe of one of Mr. Peary's cast-off blue socks. Ver- 
hoeff, who has made a tour to one of the neighboring icebergs, 
reports that the snow has been swept from the ice in the mid- 
dle of the bay, and that the ice has commenced to melt. 

Saturday, May 21. The past week has seen our home 
again converted into an Eskimo encampment. There have 
been numerous arrivals of old and new faces, representing all 
conditions of age from the tiniest baby to Tahtara's mother. 
The simple folk have come as heralds of the approaching spring, 
some to stay and others to proceed farther. They report the 
return of the little auk at Keati. Yesterday and to-day 
have been wild, stormy days, the wind blowing a gale from 
the southeast nearly all the time, and when it was not actually 
snowing the snow was flying so furiously that it was all but 
impossible to face it. The two Eskimo families in the snow- 
igloos experienced much discomfort, and this morning Kyo 
called for Matt to dig him out. The snow had drifted in the 
entrance to his igloo until it had filled and piled up higher 
than the house, and he had had great difficulty in keeping an 
air-hole open during the night. 

Monday, May 23. A beautiful day. I hoisted a new flag 
on Redcliffe House in honor of my sister Mayde's birthday. 
Yesterday was the anniversary of my own birth, the first of 
my life when I did not receive a birthday wish from my dear 



152 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

mother, and the first which I spent without receiving a loving 
greeting from some dear one. I was obliged to go through 
the routine formality of setting out the wine, but I felt neither 
like eating nor drinking. Yesterday morning the first little 
auks were seen flying over Redcliffe House, some in the 
direction of the head of the bay, others in the opposite di- 
rection. 

Kyo, Matt, and I indulged in a little target-shooting to-day 
with my revolver. We put up a tin at forty feet distance 
and fired six shots each. In the first round Matt scored 
nothing, Kyo hit the target 3 times, while I hit it 5 times. 
I then stepped out, and Matt and Kyo tried again, the former 
scoring 5 and the latter 4. 

Thursday, May 26. A perfect day, clear, calm, and warm. 
Nearly four weeks have elapsed since Mr. Peary left me, and 
yet no news. For a full week, day by day, I have been ex- 
pecting the supporting- party, and am now nearly desperate. 
Being in no mood for writing, reading, or sewing, I called Jack 
and started for Cape Cleveland, where open water had been 
reported. For a quarter of a mile before reaching the Cape 
I sank into water almost to my boot-tops, but I felt fully 
repaid for my trouble by the beautiful sight which met my 
gaze. The water, of deepest blue and clear as crystal, sparkled 
and danced in the sunlight, as if it were overjoyed to have 
broken loose from its long imprisonment, and once more have 
the countless birds sporting on its bosom. The water and the 
air above it were at times black with birds, the majority being 



OFF FOR THE INLAND ICE 153 

little auks. There was, however, a goodly sprinkling of black 
guillemots and gulls. I also saw a pair of eider-ducks. I 
watched this scene for some time. Two stately, massive 
bergs in the center of the pool of dancing water imparted 
grandeur to the picture now glistening with the dazzling 
white of marble, and a moment later black with the myriads 
of feathered creatures that had settled on them. The sight of 
the water made me feel more homesick than ever, so I contin- 
ued my walk around the Cape. At every step I broke into 
the snow nearly to my hips, and sometimes there was water 
under it. I saw four pairs of snow-buntings chirping and flit- 
ting about among the rocks and patches of grass where the 
snow had disappeared. They were evidently getting ac- 
quainted with each other, and looking for a place in which to 
make their home. Almost half way between the trap-dyke 
and Three-Mile Valley I came upon the place where Kulu- 
tunah had formerly had his tupic, and where he had left 
nearly one half of a last summer's seal lying exposed on the 
ice. About this had gathered hundreds upon hundreds of 
flies, some large and some small, the first I have seen since 
leaving Upernavik, I think. I brought some back as speci- 
mens. The air was filled with the chirping of birds, the buzz 
of flies, the drip, drip, drip of the snow and ice everywhere 
about, and the odor of decaying seal. On my return I climbed 
over the Cape in preference to rounding it, as I had seen large 
pieces of ice break off and float out into the dark water. From 
my elevated position the surface of the ice around and beyond 



154 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

the water looked as if it had had its face badly freckled, so 
covered was it with black specks ; each speck represented a 
seal taking his sun-bath. Yet it is very difficult for the natives 
to catch these creatures, as the ice is rotten and will not bear 
their weight. 

On reaching Redcliffe House I saw Kyo dressed in a pair 
of woven trousers, a blue flannel shirt, and a pair of suspen- 
ders given him by Matt, and Mr. Peary's old gray felt hat, 
which I gave him a day or two ago, and which he hesitated 
to take, because, he said, it was not mine to give, and Mr. 
Peary would say on his return, " Ibly tiglipo, ibly peeuk 
nahme " (you steal, you are no good). He looked precisely 
like an Indian as he stood there, busy putting up his tent on 
the brow of the hill directly back of the house. This place 
has been free of snow for some time and is perfectly dry, while 
his igloo, as well as the other two, is constantly wet from the 
melting snow. He is filled with the idea of going to America. 
Every night he comes for a magazine to look at after he has 
gone to bed, as he has seen some of the boys do. He says 
Mr. Peary will be his " athata " (father) and Missy Peary his 
" ahnahna " (mother) on the ship, and when he gets to Amer- 
ica he will learn how to read, and then he won't have to select 
books with pictures. Whatever he sees he wants to know if 
he will see it made in America. He tells me that he is an 
" angekok " (doctor), and that he always cures the people. 
They never die where he is, and he can make them do just 
as he chooses. His wife does not seem to care to go to 



OFF FOR THE INLAND ICE 



155 



America, so for the last few days he has borrowed two or 
three magazines to take into his igloo, where for three or four 
hours at a stretch he has sat with his wife in front of him and 
the book between them, swaying himself from side to side, 
and singing a monotonous sort of tune at the top of his voice. 
In this way, the other natives assure me, he works a spell over 
her, and she willingly consents to go with him. 




CHAPTER XIV 



Anxious Fears for the Inland Ice-party A "Red-Letter" Day Return of 
the Supporting-party with Good News First Flowers Job's Comforters 
among the Huskies An Attack of Homesickness The Snow disappearing 

My Confidante, the Brook The Eider-ducks return I stand my Watch 
with the Others Matt crippled by a Frosted Heel We are reduced to a Seal 
Diet A July Snow-storm Influx of Natives Open \Vater reaches Redcliffe 

Matt overhears a Native Plot to kill us. 

Monday, May 30. We had a great excitement about 8.30 
this evening. A black spot was seen out in the sound beyond 
an iceberg, over two miles away. With the aid of the glass 
we could see it was moving in our direction, and we thought 
it was Annowkah coming back from the other bay. Kyo, who 
was watching constantly, all at once became very much excited, 
declaring it was not an Innuit, and he could not tell what 
it was. Then, suddenly throwing down the glass, his eyes 
almost starting from his head, he exclaimed, " Nahnook, nah- 
nook, boo mut toy-hoy, car, car, toy-hoy " (a bear! a bear! 
the rifle, quick, hurry, hurry, quick). Matt and I rushed into 
the house for our rifles and ammunition, but by the time we 
came out the object was behind the berg, lost to view. It soon 
reappeared, however, and we then saw that it was a dog. Kyo, 



WEARY DAYS OF WAITING 157 

who had been watching it closely, immediately recognized it 
as one of Mr. Peary's pack, and said that it was in a starving 
condition. The poor animal was hardly able to get along, and 
had evidently had nothing to eat for a week or ten days. He 
is very weak, especially in his hind legs, and he has a cut from 
his left eye down to his mouth. The dog is the one which 
we had designated the " devil dog," and was in charge of the 
supporting-party. Can it be that the supporting-party has 
met with mishap, or are they returning by way of Smith 
Sound? The incident brings up unpleasant forebodings, but 
I am utterly powerless in my position. 

Thursday, June 2. Three more days of increasing sus- 
pense, and still no news. It is now twenty-seven days since 
Gibson left us to rejoin the party, and at that time Mr. Peary 
wrote, "We go over the ice-cap to-night," and he thought 
that the supporting-party would be back in ten days, or at 
most in two weeks. Spring is now rapidly coming to us, and 
the mercury, in the sun, has risen well into the seventies. 

Friday, June 3. My nightmare is over; the boys have 
returned, and they bring good news of my husband. I can- 
not describe how I felt when the doctor, on shaking hands 
with me, told me he had left Mr. Peary and Astrup both in 
good health and spirits, and doing good traveling. Both boys 
look exceedingly well, although their faces, and noses partic- 
ularly, are much burned and blistered by the sun and wind, 
and Gibson complains of his eyes. I got them something 
hot to drink, made them chocolate, and then retired to my 



158 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



room to read my letter. Gibson weighs 173%^ pounds net, 
against 176^ when he left; the doctor weighs 153 pounds 
net, as against 146^. 

Saturday, June 11. The past week has been almost en- 
tirely without incident. Dr. Cook has assumed command of 
our establishment, and I am therefore free of responsibility 
beyond that of taking care of myself. My thoughts wander 
constantly to the members of the inland ice-party, and I often 
wonder if they will return in time for 
us to go south still this summer. The 
doctor and Gibson do not expect them 
before the ist of September, while our 
Eskimo friends cheerfully assure us that 
they will never return. My instinct re- 
volts against this judgment, but it makes 
an impression upon me, nevertheless. 
To-day I walked over to the Quarter- 

A Corner of my Room. M j le Valley> and gat by the stream which 

there rushes down from the cliffs and tumbles over the icy 
hummocks, cutting its way through the snow that fills its bed 
and over the ice-foot into the bay. The little snow-buntings 
were chirping and flitting about me, and great patches of 
purple flowers, the first of which I observed just one week 
ago, were to be seen wherever the snow had melted suffi- 
ciently for them to peep through ; these were the earliest 
flowers of the season. I sat here and indulged in a fit of 
homesickness. Never in my life have I felt so utterly alone 




WEARY DAYS OF WAITING 159 

and forsaken, with no possible chance of knowing how and 
where my dear ones are. It surely must end some time. 

Sunday, June 12. The snow is disappearing rapidly, and 
just as soon as a patch of ground is laid bare it is covered with 
flowers, usually the purple ones, although I have seen a few 
tiny white and yellow ones as well. The west wall of our 
entrance is covered with green shoots. The doctor and 
Gibson are preparing for a ten days' hunting-trip up the bay, 
and they have made up the following list of provisions and 
accessories: 140 crackers (seven per man per day), 10 pounds 
sugar, 4 pounds meal, 8 pounds hominy, 5 cans milk, I three- 
pound can of tongue, 2 cans corned beef, 3 cans tomatoes, 
3 cans corn, 2 cans soup, 4 cakes pea-soup, 4 pounds bacon, 
i package cornstarch, I can Mosqueros food, flavoring extract, 
salt, 4 pounds coffee, ^ pound of tea, 15 pounds dog-meat 
for two dogs, 2 cans alcohol, 2 alcohol-stoves, 2 boxes wind- 
matches and i box blueheads, I box of cartridges, and a num- 
ber of shells. They expect to leave this evening. The con- 
dition of Matt's frozen heel has been steadily growing worse, 
and, poor fellow! he is beginning to suffer acutely. He is 
threatened with a chronic running sore. 

There is only one thing now left to me which gives me any 
pleasure, and that is to go to the little brook in the Quarter- 
Mile Valley and listen to its music while I give my thoughts 
full play. I close my eyes, and once more I am in our little 
tent, listening to this same music, mingled with the sound of the 
" Kite's " whistle and the splash of the white whales as they 



I6O MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

frisked back and forth in the water close to the shore. This 
was when we first landed, and before the house was ready 
for us. 

Wednesday, June 15. The last of winter is leaving us. 
The water is rushing and gurgling on all sides, and the brown 
cliffs back of the house, as well as the red cliffs to the right, 
are almost entirely bared of the snowy mantle which has so 
long covered them. Eider-ducks are passing us daily, and in 
their wake come other birds from the balmy south. 

My routine tramps have been largely interfered with by the 
character of the walking, which has become very bad, snow, 
slush, and water alternating in layers. Into this one plunges 
thigh-deep without warning, and it requires considerable ma- 
neuvering to extricate one's self without becoming saturated 
with ice-cold water. The tide comes in beyond the ice-foot, 
and Verhoeff almost swims to the tide-gage, which is now 
five inches higher out of the ice. I have been for some time 
past taking my watch regularly with the boys, and naturally 
it interferes somewhat with the fulness of my night's rest. At 
present the night is divided into three watches, of which I take 
the first, Verhoeff the second, and Matt the morning watch. 

Wednesday, June 22. Another week has passed, and by 
this much my husband is nearer to his return. Our routine 
continues unchanged, except in unimportant details, and the 
monotony of our life, together with certain vexations which 
necessarily arise, makes me at times cross and despondent. 
Our Eskimos have been taking advantage of the open leads 



WEARY DAYS OF WAITING l6l 

and the return of animals to go out on various hunting-expe- 
ditions, and they report more or less success with walrus, white 
whale, and narwhal. I am longing for venison, as we have 
been largely reduced to a seal diet, and seal is all but nause- 
ating to me. Deer seem to be very difficult to get at just at 
present, and Dr. Cook, who returned early Sunday morning 
from his hunt at the head of the bay, brought none with him 
indeed, no meat of any kind. 

The first rain of the season took place last Thursday night, 
and it has been raining again lightly this evening. Yesterday 
I took a walk along the base of the trap- dyke. The snow has 
disappeared from the plateau, and the air is fragrant with the 
spring flowers and mosses, which fairly cover the ground. 
Numberless snow-birds are flitting about, chirping to each 
other, and the rushing of the brooklets is heard constantly. 
All the flowers have returned and all the birds are here again, 
and they will stay with us until the middle of September, when 
I hope that we, too, shall return south. Altogether the scene 
reminded me of the time when Mr. Peary and I came up here 
last fall, and I gathered flowers while he pressed them. 

Tuesday, June 28. What a horrible day it has been! The 
wind blows so hard that it is almost impossible for me to 
stand up against it. The rain dashes against the window until 
it seems as though it would break it in. At times the rain 
changes to snow, while on the cliff's it has been snowing con- 
stantly. They are as white as they have been any time this 
winter. Icebergs have been groaning and toppling over all 



162 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

day, and in the fury of the storm, just after midnight, the 
tide-gage fell over. My constant thought is of the advance 
party. God help them if they are caught in such a storm on 
ice that is not suitable for building igloos. As the days wear 
on I feel as if the chances were almost even as to whether I 
shall ever see my husband again. I can do nothing, not even 
keep still. Perhaps it is a good thing that I am obliged to do 
the work about the house. 

Our boys have been improving the time by gathering up 
collections of various kinds, and the doctor has been especially 
busy trading for any and every thing in the way of native 
clothing, implements, and toys, for all of which he gives 
pieces of boards, barrel-staves, boxes, and other odds and 
ends in the lumber line, all worthless to us, but invaluable to 
the poor Eskimos. Wood is to them their most precious 
article, for without it they could neither have boats nor 
sledges, nor would they be able to fashion those perfect 
instruments of the chase, the harpoon and spear, which they 
handle with unsurpassed dexterity. Yet wood is also their 
scarcest article, and is obtained only from wreckage or through 
occasional barter with whalers passing near Cape York. A 
cargo of lumber would procure anything from the natives 
indeed, almost their entire possessions. 

Friday, July I. To-day we narrowly escaped a bad accident. 
The doctor accidentally discharged a gun in the big room, 
where Gibson, Verhoeff, and Tooky were sitting. Fortunately 
no one was hurt, the charge going through the roof, making 



WEARY DAYS OF WAITING 163 

quite a hole, and badly frightening Matt, who was lying there. 
Matt's foot is improving somewhat, and probably in a few days 
his condition will be such that he will be able to get about. 
This prospect is gratifying to me, as I have determined to go 
to the head of the bay in about three weeks, there to await 
Mr. Peary's return, and I wish to have Matt for my companion. 

Monday, July 4. This evening I was treated to a native 
vegetable dish. Returning from a walk to Cape Cleveland, 
I met Mane and her children coming to meet me. She told 
me they eat the little purple flowers which bloom so abun- 
dantly almost everywhere in this vicinity, and asked me to 
try them. I found that they were quite as sweet as our clo- 
ver blossoms, and they have, besides, a very aromatic flavor. 
Mane had brought two of our tin mess-pans with her, and we 
filled them with blossoms and sour-grass. On reaching Red- 
cliffe Mane mixed the flowers and sour-grass, then, pouring 
a little water on them, put them on the stove. I suggested 
that she wash them so as to remove at least some of the 
sand, at which she laughed, saying that sand was good for 
the stomach ; nevertheless, she made a show of washing them, 
and then let them boil for about fifteen minutes. The flavor 
was a peculiarly pleasant one, but I thought it a little sour, 
and added some sugar, which gave it something of the taste 
of rhubarb-plant stewed, only more aromatic. 

This concoction is the only vegetable dish that these people 
ever have, and this is only eaten by the women and children, 
not by the men. On the other hand, the men eat the eggs 



1 64 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

of the different birds, but will not allow the women to touch 
them. It was amusing to see both Mane and M'gipsu eat 
cake containing eggs, begging us not to tell their husbands, 
and consoling themselves with the reflection that eggs did 
not form the chief part of the cake. 

Wednesday, July 6. Another sunshiny day. Yesterday 
morning two Eskimo boys came in, and reported that a whole 
troop of natives were at Ittiblu on their way over from Netchi- 
olumy. They are compelled to go up the gulf this far in order 
to cross on the ice above the open water. 

The open water has now nearly reached Redcliffe, and is 
full of birds. About five o'clock this morning fourteen natives 
arrived, among whom are Mekhtoshay (the one-eyed man) and 
his wife and boy, and Ingyahpahdu and his six children. 
The one-eyed man brought his tent with him, a very small 
one, but the others are camping with their neighbors a 
privilege which is generally permitted in traveling. We have 
taken advantage of these numerous arrivals to continue our 
series of ethnological photographs, and the doctor has been 
kept busy posing, grouping, etc. Our settlement now num- 
bers thirty-four natives, men, women, and children. 

Gibson has started off on a ten days' collecting-tour to the 
head of the bay. He will leave the tent in Tooktoo Valley 
for me, and I shall go as soon as he returns, taking provisions 
enough to last till August 6th. If Mr. Peary has not returned 
by that time then I shall come back to the house and get every- 
thing ready for our homeward journey in the early autumn. 



WEARY DAYS OF WAITING 165 

Thursday, July 7. I determined to take advantage of the 
fine weather we are having and get rid of some washing to- 
day. I also put Noyah, Mane's little one, in the tub and gave 
her a good scrubbing. She actually looked quite cute, and 
after getting over her surprise at being plunged into the water, 
enjoyed it, laughing and splashing. It seems odd to see the 
children so backward. This child, who is already two years 
old, has just begun to stand alone, and in all other respects 
she is like a child at home of ten months or a year. M'gipsu's 
baby is a year old, but in size and mental development com- 
pares with a five-months-old white baby. To-night we finished 
taking the photographs and measurements of the Eskimos. 

Sunday, July 10. The day has been bright, warm, and 
sunny. At eight o'clock this morning the thermometer in 
the sun registered 92, and still it would be called a cool, 
pleasant day at home. The doctor tore down the shed back 
of my room in order to give the sun a chance to melt the ice 
and dry the things under it. 

Ikwa killed an " oogzook " this morning while out in his 
kayak. It took three men all day to bring in the skin and 
part of the carcass. Ikwa says he has to divide the skin 
among all the men in the settlement, even Kyoshu the cripple 
coming in for a share. It is the rule that every animal killed, 
larger than a seal, must be divided among all the men in the 
community, regardless of their share in the securing of it. 

Monday, July 11. When I awoke this morning I heard 
Matt and the doctor talking very earnestly, but could not 



1 66 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

hear what they were saying; from their tone I judged it 
was something serious. Finally I called to the doctor and 
asked him what the trouble was. He told me that Matt 
had overheard Kyo and Kulutingwah planning to make away 
with one of us. I could not help laughing at this recital, 
which provoked the doctor a little ; we had laughed at similar 
stories related by Arctic explorers, and had agreed that these 
natives were not at all inclined to be warlike or vindictive. I 
tried to reason with the boys. In the first place, if the natives 
had any such design, would they not have kept the three men 
here who left for Karnah yesterday? Secondly, would they 
be likely to come over to our house and discuss their plans? 
And thirdly, do any of us know enough of their language to 
understand a conversation in which the participants are not 
even to be seen? The whole thing seemed very amusing to 
me, but both boys were evidently frightened, and wanted to 
be armed and ready for any emergency ; consequently, I gave 
the doctor Mr. Peary's pistol to carry and Matt my large one, 
and they have worn them all day. Matt imagined he knew 
the cause of the whole thing, namely, Kyo was mad because 
I had stopped his coffee and bread in the morning; he had 
blamed Matt for it, and so Matt felt certain he was to be 
the victim. The fact is, however, that Kyo got his coffee as 
usual this morning. I had intended to stop it, but as Mane 
was sick and did not care for her share, there was enough to 
go round. The doctor, more than any one else, has reason 
to fear Kyo, as Kyo makes no secret of his dislike for him. 



WEARY DAYS OF WAITING 



I6 7 



One year ago to-night was the most miserable night I had 
ever spent. Mr. Peary had broken his leg, and for a few hours 
I did not know whether he would ever be able to use it again ; 
to-night I do not even know that he is alive. I feel very cer- 
tain, however, that a month will solve this question for me, 
and so am determined not to worry any more. 




CHAPTER XV 

MY CAMPING EXPERIENCE IN TOOKTOO VALLEY 

Conclusion of the Murder Scare A Fifteen-mile Walk along the Arctic Shore 
Matt my Sole Companion An Arctic Paradise A Tramp with an Unpleasant 
Ending Twenty-four Hours with Nothing to eat In the Shadow of the Ice- 
cliffs Fording a Glacial River Safe in Camp again. 

Tuesday, July 12. Gibson arrived this morning, minus his 
sledge and his entire load, having been obliged to abandon 
them on account of hard traveling. He advises me to go to 
the head of the bay without delay, as the ice is even now in a 
bad condition, and each day makes it worse. Ikwa was on 
the point of starting with a sledge of provisions and bedding, 
and I decided at once that Matt should accompany him. I 
shall follow later along the shore. At one P. M. Matt and 
Ikwa started, with five dogs, one native sledge, and one to- 
boggan. I fully intended to leave after supper, but I found 
so many things to do that I was too tired to think of walking 
fifteen miles, and determined to wait until to-morrow. I gave 
my room a thorough cleaning, and put down my new car- 
pet, washed and did up my bed-curtains, and made things 
as bright and clean as possible. I hope the little den will 
look somewhat homelike to Mr. Peary when he comes back. 



14 



2 > 
n 2 




MY CAMPING EXPERIENCE IN TOOKTOO VALLEY 169 

I am afraid this lovely weather will not last much longer ; but 
even if it rains I believe I can be as comfortable in the tent as 
here at Redcliffe. 

Kyo came in to-night and had a long talk with the doctor 
about the doctor's threatening to shoot the huskies. He is 
very much frightened at the doctor's carrying the revolver. 
What added to his fright was that we opened the side win- 
dow this afternoon, Kyo immediately concluding that we in- 
tended to fire on the natives from it. I am more than ever 
convinced that there was nothing in Matt's " overheard con- 
versation," and it is certain that all the Eskimos are badly 
frightened at the display of firearms. Kyo said the doctor 
might shoot the others, but the bullets would not hurt him ; 
that the " kokoyah " (evil spirit) was kind to him, and he 
would never die. But if the white man killed the Innuits 
the kokoyah would, at Kyo's command, " shad-a-go " (de- 
stroy) their vessel, and they would all die. Finally peace was 
declared, and Kyo brought over his sealskin float, for which 
he wanted wood to make the ring of his kayak. I am sorry 
for this episode, which has brought about an unpleasantness 
with the natives. 

Wednesday, July 13. At 2.30 this afternoon, in company 
with Dr. Cook, I left Redcliffe on my fifteen-mile walk to the 
head of the bay, which we reached at eight o'clock. Matt 
and Ikwa, who had preceded us, had a terrible time in getting 
through. Half the time they were in water above their waists, 
and occasionally they were obliged to float themselves over on 



170 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



Ikwa's sealskin float. It was all that Matt could do to per- 
suade Ikwa to continue. It began to rain about ten P. M., and 
has rained lightly ever since. I fear the doctor did not have 
a pleasant walk back. 

Thursday, July 14. I made a short scout after duck, but 
saw only a few eiders far out on the ice. How sweet the air 
is, and how restful the rushing of the streams as they make 
their way to the shore! I feel the need of rest and quiet, 
and it is very peaceful here. When the weather clears I shall 
enjoy the rambles over the soft green moss, I know. 

Friday, July 15. This morning the sun was shining bright- 
ly, and had it not been for the mosquitos the day would have 



been thoroughly en- 
joyable. Matt and I 
started about nine 
A. M. to take a look 
at the country beyond 
Boat Camp, but I find 
it will be impossible to 
cross the glacial river, and yet I must get to Tooktoo Camp 
before long. After lunch I took my shot-gun and started out 



A Garden Spot. Greenland Moss and Poppies. 



MY CAMPING EXPERIENCE IN TOOKTOO VALLEY 171 

in the direction of the hanging glacier, where there are a 
number of ponds. In one of these I saw two long-tailed 
ducks, but I could only secure one. The breast gives us one 
meal, and the rest of the bird stew for another. After supper 
we took a walk over the hills toward the glacier. The even- 
ing was fine, the air sweet, the grass and moss soft, and stud- 
ded with thousands of flowers. In every direction can be 
heard either the rushing and roaring of a glacier river, or the 
rippling and swishing of some tiny stream. The snow-bunt- 
ings and sandpipers are hopping about and chirping merrily, 
and the great golden ball is moving slowly along the heavens. 
The inland ice seems to wear a continual smile, so bright does 
its surface appear. Does it wish to assure me that all is well 
with the ones who are traveling on its bosom, or is it only 
mocking me? I will try to think the former. 

Sunday, July 17. A dull, foggy day. The mosquitos are 
so thick that it is all but impossible to venture out. 

Wednesday, July 20. Yesterday at noon the sun was shin- 
ing brightly, and there was a light southeast wind, enough to 
keep the mosquitos quiet, so I decided to start for the cache 
back of Tooktoo Camp, in which I wished to deposit a note 
and some canned goods. I knew it would be a long tramp 
around the intervening lake, but I would be amply repaid if 
my husband were to return while I was still here, and find 
the note, assuring him of a welcome a few miles beyond. 
When we reached the mouth of the glacial stream which 
discharges into the head of the bay, it was low tide, and we 



172 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

made an effort to ford it, thinking thereby to save a walk of 
five miles. Matt stepped in and I followed. The water felt 
intensely cold ; it was above my kamik-tops, but not above 
my knees, and we went on. When we came to a rock about 
one fourth of the way over I was compelled to climb on it and 
beat my feet and legs ; I could not control them any longer. 
Then we again plunged into the icy water, which now reached 
above my knees. It took us fifteen minutes to cross, and the 
temperature of the water was certainly not over 35, for large 
and small pieces of ice were floating about us. The current 
was in places very strong, and had it not been for the boat- 
hook I had taken with me, on which to hoist a flag over the 
cache, I should have been swept off my feet many times. 
Once across, and our wet stockings changed for dry ones, I 
did not regret having come. We found the cache after some 
little trouble, and I deposited the note, also a can of milk, a 
can of fruit, some biscuit, and a small flask of brandy, and 
then put up the flag. 

We retraced our steps past old Tooktoo Camp to the mouth 
of the river. Here we found that the tide had already risen 
a foot, and we continued our walk along the river-bank toward 
the head of the lake. On reaching it we found that it com- 
municated with a second lake by a deep, roaring torrent, which, 
although narrower than the river below, was still too wide and 
deep to be crossed ; so on we went till we reached the end of 
the second lake, and here it seemed as if we might walk around 
it by climbing along the lower edge of two glaciers, although 



MY CAMPING EXPERIENCE IN TOOKTOO VALLEY 173 

we were by no means sure that a raging stream did not sweep 
down on the other side. Great rocks were continually rolling 
from the top of the glaciers, and I did not think it safe to 
venture. The scene was an impressive one. Black cliffs 
raise their heads over four great white glaciers, smooth as 
marble, and at their feet roars a furious torrent, till it merges 
into a broad lake, which looks as calm and unruffled as if this 
stream were only a drop in its depths. On each side of this 
stretch of water the valley is carpeted with soft green moss 
and yellow poppies, and fairly alive with the chirping and 
flitting of birds. We tarried here quite a while. I could not 
make up my mind to leave so beautiful a scene ; besides, the 
only thing left for us to do now was to wait for low tide, 
which would be about one A. M., and then ford the river 
where we had crossed it in the morning. It was 8.45 P. M. 
when we again reached the mouth of the stream. The tide 
was high, but falling. Had we had something to eat we 
should not have minded the waiting. We kept moving in 
order to keep warm, until we thought that the tide had 
reached its ebb. As we neared the shore we could see no 
familiar line of rocks which indicated low tide, and on closer 
examination we were horrified to find a " high low tide." 
Still we felt we must attempt to cross, and Matt started in, 
while I followed at his heels. The first step was over our 
knees, the next came mid-thigh on Matt, and then I backed 
out, for I knew that we were not near the deepest part yet ; 
besides, the current was so strong that I could hardly keep 



174 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

my footing. We tried lower down, but with the same result. 
Even had we made up our minds to bear the cold water, we 
could not possibly have stood up against the current. We 
then determined to try it in the lake, but were baffled there as 
well. By this time we were pretty well drenched, almost to 
our waists, and yet the only thing for us to do was to wait for 
the noon low tide of the morrow. We sat down on a rock, 
took off our stockings and kamiks, and wrung the water out 
as best we could, then put them on again. I knew it would 
never do for us to sleep, or even sit still in our wet clothes, 
for there is always a cool breeze blowing, and the night tem- 
peratures average about 40 ; yet the prospect of twelve 
hours more of tramping, when we had already tramped 
twelve and a half hours, with nothing to eat we had only 
had coffee and a cracker before starting and a cold fog set- 
tling down upon us, was anything but encouraging. I sug- 
gested that we go to the cache, where we had left the brandy 
and milk for the inland ice-party, and mix a drink of some of 
it, and then begin the climb to Nunatak Cache. This we did. 
I had my old enemy, the sick headache, brought on by lack 
of food and the excitement, and consequently every step was 
agony, yet I knew I must keep on. Thoughts came crowd- 
ing in upon me of my husband and my mother. We walked 
and walked until almost ready to drop with hunger, fatigue, 
and lack of sleep ; then, as we climbed above the fog into the 
warm sunshine, we would sit down a few minutes, wrapping 
our heads in our handkerchiefs to keep off the mosquitos, 



MY CAMPING EXPERIENCE IN TOOKTOO VALLEY 175 

which swarmed about us. As soon as one of us saw the other 
dozing we pushed on again. In this way we climbed through 
the ravine and in sight of Nunatak Cache, but it was impos- 
sible for me to go farther; my limbs trembled under me, and 
refused to act at my bidding. We returned to the river. 
At 1 1.30 this morning the welcome line of rocks indicating low 
tide made its appearance, and, to our great relief, we found 
that we were able to cross the stream. Two more thankful 
creatures never were than we when we found ourselves on dry 
land on our side of the " kook " (river) again. We were per- 
fectly numb with cold from mid-thigh down, and so ran and 
pounded our feet and limbs for the three miles that intervened 
between the river and the tent, which we reached in an hour. 
Thus far we feel no ill results from our icy adventure. 

Saturday, July 23. The bay, which has been perfectly 
clear of ice, except for a few small bergs near the glacier, is 
filled again, as a result of the tide-wind. The white whales, 
which have been sporting about for a number of days, are 
shut out from their playground. I tramped about nearly all 
day, but did not get near any game. I never weary of Took- 
too Valley. To me it is a beautiful spot, with its river and 
lakes, its glaciers and mountains, its carpet of soft green moss, 
its wealth of flowers, and its busy birds and insects. I have 
not heard from Redcliffe since I left there, over a week ago ; 
no information of any kind has come to me. 



CHAPTER XVI 

"OOMIAKSOAK TIGALAY ! " THE SHIP HAS COME! 

An Eskimo Messenger " Oomiaksoak Tigalay" (the Ship has come) Letters 
from Home A Visit from Professor Heilprin Distressing Possibilities 
The "Kite" leaves for Smith Sound Return of the "Kite" Domestic 
Disturbances among the Natives An Eskimo Woman and Girl disappear. 

Sunday, July 24. At five o'clock this morning, before I 
was really awake, I heard a sharp, shrill whistle, different 
from the notes of the birds that usually awake me, and before 
I could quite satisfy myself that it was not a bird I heard it 
again, close to the tent, and also a footstep. " Kiny-ah-una" 
(who is there), I called. "Awangah, oomiaksoak tigalay " (me, 
the ship has come), was the answer. "Angwo " (not so), I 
replied. " Shagloo nahme awangah " (me not lie), he said, 
and with this a shaggy, black head was thrust into the tent, 
and a bundle of mail tossed to me. The next few hours are 
a blank to me; for I was devouring my mother's letter, which 
took the shape of a journal that she had kept for me. A few 
words from Professor Heilprin tell me that he is at Redcliffe 
with a party and the old " Kite," but he does not say who are 
in the party. Now if Mr. Peary only gets back safe I shall 
indeed be happy. All those dear to me have been spared, 




ROBERT E. PEARY, U. S. N. 



" OOMIAKSOAK TIGALAY ! " THE SHIP HAS COME! 177 

while there has been a great deal of sickness and death every- 
where. 

Monday, July 25. This morning the sun came out bright, 
and he has shone all day. After looking in vain for the 
inland ice-party, and also for a party from the " Kite," until 
two P. M., I retired to the tent to escape the mosquitos. I told 
Matt he might go down to Redcliffe and see the " Kite " party 
if he chose, but he said he did not care for the walk, and would 
take the gun and go for a stroll. At 3.30, feeling hungry, I 
went out to see if I could see anything of him, in order to 
know whether I should cook for one or for two. Away off 
near the foot of the cliffs I saw a lone figure, which did not 
look like Matt, slowly making its way in the direction of the 
tent. I soon made out Professor Heilprin. He had walked 
fifteen miles to pay me a visit, and we chatted for hours. It 
did seem so good to talk with some one again who had been 
in touch with civilization. I feel as though I had been in 
another world. Both mother and brother urge me to come 
home, even if Mr. Peary has not returned from the inland ice 
by the time the " Kite " is obliged to set sail again for the 
sunny south, and the professor says his orders are to " bring 
Mrs. Peary back under any circumstances." While I do not 
think there is the slightest doubt that my husband will be 
here before the latter part of August, and \vhile I fully believe 
that if he is not here then he will never come, yet I could 
never leave while there was the faintest chance of his being 
alive. I told the professor just how I felt about the matter, 



178 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

and he said, "Well, we will see when the time comes." My 
brother Emil writes that I should have " some consideration 
for my friends and relatives." And what of my husband? 
He says further, " What good can you do Bert on the coast 
while he is on the ice?" Does he suppose that if Mr. Peary 
is alive he will stay on the ice the whole year round? And 
when he returns and finds he is too late for the " Kite," will 
that not be disappointment enough, without finding that I, too, 
have deserted him? I know just how my dear ones at home 
feel, and I know, too, that they cannot long for me any more 
than I long for them. It will go hard to remain harder for 
me than for them, for they will know that I am well and com- 
fortable ; and besides, they have friends and acquaintances, 
and intelligent and interesting employments and amusements 
with which to occupy their minds and time, while I have only 
a few white men and some uncivilized people, together with 
three months of darkness, to make my life pleasant. Not a 
very enviable existence, I am sure. As for cold, hardship, and 
hunger, that is nonsense. Of course, if I feel so inclined, I 
can go out and sit on an iceberg until I freeze to it, and let 
the wind and snow beat upon me, even starve myself ; but my 
tastes do not run in that direction. 

Tuesday, July 26. The " Kite " leaves to-day for Littleton 
Island, to be gone three or four days. When the professor 
left, at 2.30 A. M., Matt had not yet returned; I think he must 
have gone to the " Kite." 

Wednesday, July 27. Yesterday and to-day were bright, 



" OOMIAKSOAK TIGALAY!" THE SHIP HAS COME! 179 

warm days, although the wind blew quite strong most of the 
time. Matt returned from the "Kite" yesterday morning, 
bringing with him a loaf of nice bread, a veal cutlet, and a 
flask of brandy sent by the steward of the " Kite." Dr. Cook, 
with four Eskimos, came up in the " Mary Peary " this morn- 
ing, bringing the rest of the mail matter with him. He also 
brought me more supplies, but at the same time urges me to 
return to Redcliffe with him. 

Saturday, July 30. Once more back at Redcliffe. After 
considering the matter, I decided that Mr. Peary would wish 
me to look after things at our home, and although it was a 
great disappointment for me to leave before the return of the 
ice-party, I was forced to do it. There has been considerable 
excitement in our Eskimo settlement. Ikwa has beat Mane 
so badly that she cannot come out of her tent ; her head is 
cut and bruised, and one eye is completely closed. We know 
of no reason for this peculiar conduct. Kyo has gone to Igloo- 
dahominy in his kayak, the first time during our visit that an 
Eskimo has ventured across the bay in a kayak. While he 
was out on a seal-hunt early this morning, Klayuh, his wife, 
and Tooky, her daughter, ran away. Kyo, it is said, had 
thrust a knife in Klayuh's leg several times, and he has 
threatened to kill Tooky. He is now searching for the fugi- 
tives, but the whole settlement has conspired to throw him 
off the track. He has already been up to the head of the 
bay, and down as far as Cape Cleveland. 

The " Kite " returned at nine o'clock yesterday evening, 



:8o 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



having penetrated into Smith Sound to a position opposite 
Force Bay, where it was stopped by the unbroken pack. 
Professor Heilprin came ashore immediately after, and intro- 
duced to me some of his companions. Dr. Cook, who had 




The " Kite" in McCormick Bay. 

made a vain attempt to reach Ittiblu, returned at ten P. M. 
this evening ; he found the gulf impassable owing to the large 
quantities of loose ice which had been detached from the gla- 
ciers, and literally choked the basin. 

Thursday, August 4. I have lived through five days more 
of intense suspense. The Eskimos console me by talking of 



" OOMIAKSOAK TIGALAY ! " THE SHIP HAS COME! l8l 

Mr. Peary as " sinnypoh " (dead) ; one of them yesterday 
told me that he had dreamt that only one " kabloona " (white 
man) would return from the ice. To offset these dark fore- 
bodings, and keep my spirits from sinking too low, I repeat a 
paragraph in Mr. Peary's letter, which says : " I have no doubt 
I shall be with you about August 1st, but if there should be 
a little delay, it will be delay only, and not danger. I have a 
hundred days' provisions." 

The weather continues exceptionally fine, clear, bright, and 
warm. Professor Heilprin, having determined to move his 
party to the head of the bay, preparatory to a search on the 
inland ice, the " Kite " heaved anchor at nine this morning, 
and is now lying opposite the point which I only recently 
deserted. By the professor's kind invitation I joined the 
" Kite " party, and Matt, who has been my steady guardian 
since Mr. Peary's departure, accompanies me. 

Friday, August 5. The entire relief-party left to-day for 
Nunatak Cache, their object being to plant stakes seven miles 
apart as guide-posts on the inland ice. I remained on board 
the " Kite " all day, and shall retire early, if not to sleep, to 
rest. 



12* 



CHAPTER XVII 

RETURN OF THE EXPLORERS 

End of my Weary Waiting Mr. Peary returns " on Time" Experiences of 
the Inland Ice-party The Great Greenland Ice-cap The " Kite" Aground 
Landing through the Surf Back at Redcliffe The Natives regard the 
Commander and Astrup as Supernatural Beings. 

Saturday, August 6. From a half-sleep I was roused early 
this morning by the plash of oars and loud talking, and before 
I had fully grasped the idea that the professor's party had 
returned, some one jumped over the rail on the deck just 
over my head, and a familiar footstep made its way hurriedly 
toward the companionway. I knew it was Mr. Peary, but 
was unable to move or make a sound. He came rushing 
down the stairs and rattled at my door, calling to me to open 
it ; but I seemed to be paralyzed, and he forced it open and 
stood before me, well and hearty, safe at last. 

Monday, August 8. Back at Redcliffe again, but how 
different everything seems! Not only is our whole party 
once more reunited, but there is the little " Kite " out in the 
bay, ready to take us south at any time. 

I have been afraid to go to sleep since Mr. Peary's return, 
for fear I might wake up and find it all a dream ; besides, we 



RETURN OF THE EXPLORERS 



had so much to tell each other that there was no time or incli- 
nation for sleep. Mr. Peary recounted to me the events of his 
journey ; how after he sent Mr. Gibson and Dr. Cook back 
to Redcliffe from the Humboldt Glacier, May 24th, he and 
Astrup marched on day after day, with their magnificent team 
of Eskimo dogs, which Astrup learned to handle as well as a 
native driver. 

They encountered storms which kept them buried in the 
snow for days at a time, but their worst enemies were the 
snow-arched crevasses which they , ,. 
met just before reaching the lati- 
tude of Sherard Osborne Fjord. 
These arches were so treacherous 
that more than once they were on 
them before they were aware of 
it, and old Lion came very near 
ending his journey 
by breaking through 
one of them and 
being precipitated 
the full length of 
his trace into the 
yawning chasm. 
Fortunately the 
trace was strong 
enough to hold his 
weight, and he was The First Musk-ox. 




1 84 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



pulled up none the worse for his tumble. The loss of a single 
animal would have been a calamity to the party. 

On July 1st Mr. Peary saw the loom of land ahead, and 
thinking it only one of the west-coast mountains, changed his 
course to northeast, and then to east, hoping to be able to 
round it ; but after a few days' further travel he saw the land 

still ahead, and then found 
i that it was the northern 
boundary of Greenland. 
He now decided to leave 
his sledges and supplies at 
the edge of a moraine, and, 
with a few days' rations, start over- 
land toward the coast. They had not 
gone far when they came across un- 
mistakable signs of musk-oxen, and 
then upon the animals themselves, 
grazing in a little valley. A few shots 
from Mr. Peary's rifle brought down 
two of them. Then a little baby musk- 
ox came peering around a great boul- 
der to learn the cause of all the noise 
and commotion. This was captured 
alive, but the poor little thing did not 
survive its mother very long. Mr. 
Peary camped in this lovely valley, and there feasted his dogs 
on fresh meat. 




Cairn on Navy Cliff. 
Lat. 81 37'. 




I 




RETURN OF THE EXPLORERS 185 

These noble brutes, accustomed all their lives to raw, 
bloody meat, had been living on dry pemmican for the past 
two months, working day after day as they had never worked 
continuously before. No wonder they strained at their traces, 
plunging and tugging to get loose and help themselves. As 
quickly as one of the musk-oxen was skinned the body was 
tossed within their reach, and they pounced upon it with a 
greediness which plainly showed how much they longed for 
the juicy meat. The explorers themselves also enjoyed the 
fresh meat for a change, but they were glad to get back to 
pemmican again after a few days. 

After the dogs had been fed and rested, the march across 
the boulder-strewn country toward the coast was resumed. 
It ended July 4th, when the party came out on a bluff on the 
east coast, some 3800 feet high, which overlooked the great 
unknown Arctic Ocean. Here a couple of days were spent 
in making observations for latitude and longitude, in taking 
photographs of the surrounding country, and in building a 
cairn in which to deposit the record of their journey, and 
then the return march was begun. McCormick Bay was 
reached on August 6th, after an absence of ninety-three days, 
during which time Mr. Peary says neither he nor Astrup had 
an ache or a pain. 

Late yesterday afternoon a brisk wind blew up that made 
the surf fly and prevented any of us from going ashore. As 
Professor Heilprin was anxious to examine some of the great 
glaciers, it was decided that the " Kite " remain at her present 



1 86 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



anchorage until after he had made his examinations the next 
day. This morning, however, the wind was still blowing, and 
although an attempt was made to land a boat, it had to be 
abandoned ; Captain Pike, too, was desirous to get the " Kite " 
down the bay before she was blown on the rocks. Indeed, 
this was necessary, . ._ . _ , 

as the vessel had 
already had her nose 
stuck in the mud- 
bank, and it had 
seemed for a time 
that she was in a 
precarious position. 
Fortunately we escaped with the loss 
of only about eleven feet of the ves- 
sel's "shoe." The incident was by 
no means pleasing, and we all felt 
relieved when the vessel again rode 
a straight keel. For hours we drifted 
about, hoping the wind would go 
down, but finally we headed down 
the bay. It was impossible to swing 
the vessel inshore opposite Red- 
cliff e, and we were obliged to pass our home and continue 
to Cape Cleveland. Here again we could find no sheltered 
nook where it would be safe to land a boat, and we sailed 
back and forth until late in the afternoon, when the captain 




Looking down over the 
Arctic Ocean. 



RETURN OF THE EXPLORERS 187 

thought that we might land in the lee of the great cliffs just 
east of Cape Cleveland. The boat was put in charge of the 
second mate, who, with the three strongest sailors, pulled Mr. 
Peary, Astrup, and myself to the shore, a distance of perhaps 
half a mile. We got along well in spite of the great billows 
until we reached the shore, where, before we could make a 
landing, two waves in rapid succession broke over our boat, 
almost filling it with water, and nearly swamping us. I was 
completely drenched. 

Just before reaching Cripple Point we were met by Dr. 
Cook, Verhoeff, and Gibson, anxious to greet the inland ice- 
party, of whose return they had been apprised by Matt. It 
was very curious to watch the expressions on the faces of the 
natives, who stood in groups about Redcliffe House staring 
at Mr. Peary and Astrup as they approached. When they 
were spoken to they answered in low, frightened tones, and 
they could not be induced to come forward and shake hands, 
or in any way come in contact with the two, until they were 
convinced that they were really human beings, and not great 
spirits come down from the ice-cap. Then they were very 
anxious to know if Mr. Peary had seen the spirits of the 
departed Eskimos, what they lived on, how they looked, and 
all about them. They were very much surprised not only to 
see the dogs return alive, but to see them in much better 
condition than when they left, as they had repeatedly said 
the Americans did not know how to feed the Eskimo dog, and 
he would soon starve under their treatment. Now they have 



188 



perfect confidence in Mr. Peary, and say they would go any- 
where with him, even on the ice-cap, because they do not 
believe he would let the evil spirit harm them. 

Mr. Peary has decided to start on a trip up Inglefield Gulf 
to-morrow. His purpose is to verify some of the observations 

made by us on our 
April sledge trip, to 
take photographs of 
the landscape in its 
summer dress, and to 
secure ethnological 
specimens at Karnah 
and Nunatochsoah 
that were promised 
us by the natives of 
those places. We ex- 
pect to return within 
a week, and then 
everything will be 
put on board the 
good ship " Kite," 
and we shall bid adieu to our Arctic home and the dear old 
huskies, who, even if they are not particularly clean, have 
been our faithful friends, and will, I am sure, never forget us. 




Astrup's Musk-lamb. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

BOAT JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 

The Sculptured Cliffs of Karnah Luxuriant Vegetation Stormy Weather 
Anniversary Camp My Kahlillowah Crossing the Gulf in a Tempest 
The Shelter of Academy Bay Fury of the Arctic Winds An Iceberg Break- 
water We reach Karnah again Rounding Cape Cleveland Fighting for 
Life and Shelter Safe at Redcliffe. 

The weather was not very encouraging as we started from 
Redcliffe House on Tuesday, August 9, the strong wind of 
the two previous days having brought up heavy storm-clouds, 
which now hid the sun and hung threateningly overhead. It 
was just about noon when we left the beach at Redcliffe, the 
light " Mary Peary " shooting rapidly along with the strokes of 
the six Eskimo boatmen, and in a short time we had rounded 
Cape Cleveland and started eastward up the gulf. The scene 
before us was very different from what it had been ten months 
previously, when we made our first attempt. There were then 
numerous pans and streams of ice, with the new ice rapidly 
cementing them together; the land itself was covered with 
snow, and the ice-foot had already commenced to form on 
the beach. Now there was only an occasional fragment of 
ice, though the great bergs were numerous. The mountains 

189 



IQO MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

of the shore were rich with the warm hues of summer. Late 
in the afternoon a favoring wind came up from the west, and 
with foresail hoisted we moved merrily along before it. Re- 
lieved thus from their labors, our crew lounged contentedly 
upon the seats, and fell into a conversational mood. Mr. Peary 
learned from them that many years ago Mekhtoshay had shot 
an " amarok," or wolf, at Netchiolumy, and that Panikpah had 
killed one at Nerki ; Koomenahpik and Mekhtoshay, who are 
brothers, also related that years ago they had both seen 
" oomingmuk " (musk-oxen), " awahne, awahne, Etah " (far 
beyond Etah). 

At half-past six in the evening we reached Karnah, a small 
Eskimo settlement on the north shore of the sound, some 
twenty miles from Cape Cleveland. Here the low, flat shore 
ends, and a line of towering gray cliffs begins. We pitched 
our tent on a level bit of grass among the stones, and after 
our evening meal was completed we crossed the noisy glacial 
stream flowing near the village, climbed the hill just west of 
it, and then followed the shore westward till we came to the 
stone igloos of Karnah the deserted. Four houses form this 
village, which lies in the center of a beautiful grassy meadow, 
stretching back from the shore to the foot of the brown moun- 
tains. The luxuriance of the grass here was wonderful. All 
across the meadow we waded through it, literally knee-deep, 
and in one or two places immediately about the igloos it was 
so rank that as I stooped to gather some sprays for pressing 
I was almost hidden. Returning to our tent, we were soon 



BOAT JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF IQI 

lulled to sleep by the boisterous music of the glacial stream. 
During the night it snowed lightly, and when we awoke the 
ground was covered with a white mantle, which, however, 
soon disappeared. 

Leaving Karnah on the morning of the loth, for three or 
four hours we threaded our way through bergs and great 
cakes of blue ice, past the giant cliffs of Karnah, with their 
great bastions, towers, chimneys, and statues, carved by the 
Arctic storms from the gray sandstone, the breeding-places 
of black guillemots, burgomaster gulls, and white falcons. As 
we passed along our Eskimo boatmen pointed out to us the 
striking figures, all of heroic size, looming against the sky far 
up the cliffs, and told us that such and such a one was a 
woman, and such another a man, and that the cliffs them- 
selves were known as " innuchen " (statue rocks). There 
would be wide scope here for the imaginative genius who 
has given the nomenclature to the rocks in the Garden of 
the Gods. All this time it was raining in fierce showers, 
and we rounded the point of the bay east of Karnah in the 
face of one of them. A number of deer were seen quietly 
grazing in the valleys. A fresh wind came up from the 
south, and we went dashing up the bay, with the foam fly- 
ing from the bow of the boat, and a boiling white wake 
behind us. We landed on a sandy beach near the head of 
the bay. While the tent was being pitched and the boat 
hauled out of the water a school of white whales (" kahkok- 
tah ") came puffing and sporting into the cove, and Koomen- 



1 92 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



ahpik immediately went out in his kayak, which we had in 
tow, after them. He remained out for an hour, but as the 

result of cautiousness, either on his 
part or on the part of the whales, 
he did not succeed in getting near 
enough to use his harpoon, and 
returned unsuccessful. The view 
from our camp was very impressive. 
Facing us, and forming nearly a 
semicircle, was a great glacier ; just 
across the cove a great nunatak 
reared its brown mass above the ice, 
and everywhere the 
cliffs were of a warm 
red and brown color- 
ing, a marked contrast 
to the wintry shores 
of Herbert and North- 
umberland islands, 
and to the chilly, 
gray sandstone cliffs 
of Karnah. Our tent 
was pitched just above 

high-water mark beside a little stream whose banks were 
actually yellow with Arctic poppies. 

The heavy showers continued through the night, and we 
waited until noon of the I ith for them to cease. Verhoeff was 




Pillar of Sandstone. 



BOAT JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 1 93 

out after specimens until after midnight, and then, returning, 
slept in the boat. He left us at this point to join Gibson in 
Tooktoo Valley. Crossing over to the eastern side of the bay, 
we found a beautiful rock-protected cove, with a stream flow- 
ing into it from a valley above. While Mr. Peary climbed to 
the top of a rock to obtain some bearings, I took my rifle and 
started up the valley in search of deer. In a short time I had 
shot two. One of them I brought down at long range while 
he was running at full speed. As this day was the anniver- 
sary of our wedding, we celebrated it mildly with a milk 
punch and fried liver from the deer which I had shot. Here, 
midway between the Arctic Circle and the Pole, we were in 
a veritable garden spot. Vines and plants and flowers run 
and grow in luxuriant abundance over and in the crevices of 
the rocks. The stream which empties into the cove comes 
from a beautiful mirror-like lake set in a grassy meadow only 
a short distance up the valley, and over the protecting ledge 
to the west come the continuous thunder and groanings of 
the great glacier. 

Continuing our exploration, we arrived, through wind, snow, 
and rain, at the precipitous island which lies near the eastern 
extremity of the gulf. Here, in the angle of the island and a 
huge glacier, in which it was partially buried, we pitched the 
tent, though not without protest from the natives, who said 
that the waves from an iceberg breaking off the glacier might 
smash the boat and swamp the camp. While we were at 
dinner Koomenahpik raised the alarm of " kahlillowah," and 



194 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

looking out we saw two narwhal among the bergs, a large one 
and a small one. We immediately pulled out for the animals. 
As we approached, the larger of the two disappeared, but we 
were able to get near enough to the other one for me to put a 
bullet through its head ; then Koomenahpik drove a harpoon 
into its back, and after a short struggle we had it in tow for the 
camp. The next morning we found my prize high and dry 
on the rocks, a great mottled, misshapen mass of flesh, with a 
gleaming ivory horn, straight as an arrow, and almost as sharp 
as a stiletto, projecting straight out from its nose. It was a 
wonderful sight to me, who never before had seen the nar- 
whal, the fabled ancestor of the unicorn. I could not gaze at 
it sufficiently. 

When we started off again, in the afternoon of August I4th, 
our boat was loaded down almost to the gunwales with our 
trophies of narwhal and reindeer, the tents, and other equip- 
ment. The morning's promise of pleasant weather had not 
been fulfilled. Heavy black clouds were gathering thick and 
fast, and by the time we had reached the southern end of the 
island it was raining steadily. As we ran out from the lee of 
the island the full force of the now furious northeast gale struck 
us, and we were pelted mercilessly with sheets of water. It was 
a wild scene, with the sullen, spectral glare of the great glaciers 
north and east of us beneath the pall of black clouds, the wind 
howling over us as if it would pick us bodily out of the water, 
and the black cliffs at the mouth of Academy Bay, our desti- 
nation, mere shadows, felt rather than seen through the rain 



BOAT JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 195 

full twenty miles to the south. The gulf was full of great 
bergs and masses of hard blue ice, the outflow from the gla- 
ciers, through the mazes of which we were obliged to pick 
our way ; yet they were our friends, for they kept the water 
smooth in spite of the raging wind, and gave us now and then 
a shelter, behind which we could stop for a few moments and 
catch our breath before striking out again into the furious 
blast. Fortunately, the wind was partly in our favor; in 
spite of our tortuous course we made rapid progress, and in 
four hours were abreast of the group of islands down in the 
southeast corner of the gulf, which we had visited in April 
during our sledge trip. From here to Tawanah's igloo at 
the mouth of the bay was the critical part of our voyage. 
This distance was entirely free of ice, and though only five or 
six miles in width, the force of the wind was such that the 
whitecaps were rushing madly across it as we came out from 
under the shelter of the islands. With just a bit of the fore- 
sail up to enable the boat to run away from the waves, and 
two oars ready to be dropped instantly into the rowlocks, in 
case of necessity, we dashed madly along, with every now and 
then the top of a wave coming in over the stern of the boat, 
and striking Mr. Peary and myself in the back with a resound- 
ing whack. More than once my teeth involuntarily closed 
more firmly as I saw a mad white crest rushing down upon 
us, but our little craft rode the waves like a duck, and we 
finally shot under the lee of the point at Tawanah's igloo. 
As the boat sped along through the placid water and the sail 



196 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

flapped against the mast in the eddy of wind under the point, 
every one breathed a sigh of relief. 

In spite of the fury of the storm out in the gulf, here in the 
bay under the steep shore everything was calm and quiet. The 
mast and sail were taken down and the oars run out, and our 
native crew settled down to work again, glad to warm them- 
selves by exercise. Suddenly, however, the wind, with the 
perverseness common to winds in these Arctic regions, came 
rushing out of the bay, meeting us full in the face, and making 
it almost impossible for the men to make head against it. But 
Mr. Peary spurred them on, and by hugging the shore we 
succeeded, with the aid of the tide, in reaching a little island 
about half-way up the bay, opposite which, despite the high 
waves, we effected a landing. We had the utmost difficulty 
in setting up our tent, but we at last got the better of the 
hurricane by securing the bottom of the tent all around with 
huge stones. 

Never before had I understood the power of the wind. To 
add to its terrifying effect, it did not blow steadily now, as 
when it first commenced, but came in frightful gusts with 
intervals of calm between. For perhaps a minute or two it 
would be absolutely still, the black cliffs across the bay would 
loom up in perfect distinctness, and every intonation of the 
waves, dashing upon the rocks, could be heard ; then a rush- 
ing white wall would spring into view around the bend of the 
bay a mile or so above us, an ominous murmur would be heard, 
rapidly increasing in volume and intensity, until, with a roar, 



BOAT JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 197 

the Arctic blast was upon us, literally cutting the tops off the 
waves and hurling them in solid masses of water far up the 
cliffs. The icebergs went tearing out of the bay like ships in 
a ten-knot breeze. A number of these bergs sailed in toward 
our little island, and, grounding at the upper end of the 
channel, formed a complete breakwater. When the wild gusts 
struck these great bergs they rocked and groaned, flung them- 
selves at each other with thunderous crash, reeling backward 
shattered and split from the shock, while all the time the 
waves dashed against their outer faces, climbed in white jets 
clear to their tops, and fell in intermittent cataracts into the 
waters of our little harbor. It seemed as if we were at the 
very gates of the Hyperborean Inferno. All night long this 
struggle continued, the flying spray from the iceberg break- 
water dashing against the tent, drenching it and all its con- 
tents. Mr. Peary and Matt spent the greater part of the 
night in holding up the tent-poles. 

By morning the storm had exhausted its fury, and we were 
on our journey once more. But heavy weather soon set in 
again, and a disagreeable drizzle continued throughout the 
night and the greater part of the following day. We made 
a bee-line diagonally across the gulf to Karnah, the castellated 
cliffs of which could just be discerned through the gray mist 
which hung low over the water. Head winds and a contrary 
flood-tide made our progress slow, and it was only after a long 
and weary day of hard work for the men at the oars, and of 
wet and cold and cramp for those in the stern of the boat, 



198 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

that we touched the northern shore a few miles above Karnah, 
where we gladly availed ourselves of the opportunity to jump 
out and stretch our stiffened limbs. It was our intention to 
camp here for the night, but after the refreshing effects of a 
hot dinner, with ample draughts of tea, every one felt so much 
better, although thoroughly tired out, that we determined to 
push on to Redcliffe. As we neared Cape Cleveland the wind 
blew a gale, but now, for the first time, it was in our favor, 
and Mr. Peary ordered up both sails. Under Matt's skilful 
guidance we went flying past the cliffs for the mouth of 
McCormick Bay, dodging the hard blue lumps of ice, some 
of which could not be seen until we were almost upon them, 
frightening a herd of walrus into which we dashed unexpect- 
edly, and then at last whirled round the point at Cape Cleve- 
land into an eddy of quiet wind and water. Scarcely had we 
rounded the Cape, however, when Mr. Peary's eye saw another 
one of those white squalls rushing down upon us from Tooktoo 
Valley, and there was just time to get the masts and sails 
down, and the men to the oars with feet braced against the 
seats and backs straining to the bending ash-blades, when the 
squall was upon us. The wind tore off the tops of the waves 
and dashed them in our faces until it was impossible to see. 
When the gusts were at their height the men could only hold 
their own and prevent the boat from being blown backward 
out into the sound, while in the intervals between they man- 
aged to gain a little, and in this way we crept along inch by 
inch toward the sheltered beach on which we had landed from 



BOAT JOURNEY INTO INGLEFIELD GULF 199 

the " Kite " a week before. Suddenly, just as we came abreast 
of the place where a still remaining portion of the ice-foot 
formed an ugly overhanging shelf, under which the waves 
broke furiously, Kulutingwah's oar snapped short off, and 
Kulutingwah himself, with a wild cry, pitched backward into 
the bottom of the boat In the momentary confusion which 
followed, the boat began drifting rapidly under the shelf, when 
Mr. Peary seized the oar of the man nearest him and urged 
every one to his utmost, at the same time shouting to Kulu- 
tingwah to jump for the bow of the boat and throw the grap- 
nel out. With understanding quickened by fear, the Eskimo 
carried out the order almost as soon as it was uttered, and 
with all still tugging at the oars to ease the strain upon the 
anchor-rope, the boat settled slowly back inch by inch, until 
finally she stopped so near the wicked blue shelf of ice that I 
could touch it with my hand. This respite gave us a chance 
to recover our breath, and enabled Mr. Peary to make a change 
in the disposition of the men. In the intervals between the 
gusts the oars slowly and painfully worked the boat ahead, 
and before the next squall struck us the grapnel was thrown 
over, and every one crouched low in the boat, to present as 
little surface as possible to the wind. In this way, with the 
woman Armah crying and screaming in the bottom of the 
boat, and the faces of the men a dingy white, we at last 
reached the coveted beach. So deafening was the roar of the 
wind that we could hardly hear each other's voices. Leaving 
Kulutingwah to watch the boat, we made our way to Redcliffe. 



CHAPTER XIX 

FAREWELL TO GREENLAND 

Alarm about Mr. Verhoeff A Search Instituted Alone with Matt and the 
Native Women No News Return of the Search-parties Poor Verhoeff 

Packing up I play Lady Bountiful Pennsylvania's Gifts to the Natives 

Farewell to Redcliffe Fossil-hunting at Atanekerdluk Godhavn revisited 

Godthaab Eskimo Kayakers Fire-swept St. John's Arrival at Phila- 
delphia Home again. 

Thursday, August 18. When we rejoined our men at mid- 
night we learned from Dr. Cook that Verhoeff, who left us at 
Bowdoin Bay, had not yet returned, and that Gibson and Mr. 
Bryant, the second in command of Professor Heilprin's party, 
were in Five-Glacier Valley searching for him. Verhoeff, 
after having joined Gibson, left him at the valley for a fur- 
ther search after minerals, and his last words were, " If I am 
not here don't be worried ; I may be gone till Tuesday or 
Wednesday." 

Before retiring Mr. Peary sent a note on board the " Kite," 
informing Professor Heilprin of our return, and stating that 
we should be ready to say farewell to Redcliffe the next day. 
Soon after breakfast this morning Mr. Peary began getting 
the boxes and barrels of specimens ready for shipment, while 



FAREWELL TO GREENLAND 2OI 

I took charge of the household effects, provisions, etc. While 
we were thus occupied our boat was seen coming from Five- 
Glacier Valley. When it had approached near enough for 
us to distinguish the occupants, we saw there were only two 
white men in it Gibson and Mr. Bryant. Gibson told us 
that they had waited at the appointed place until their pro- 
visions gave out, and then had taken a scout up the valley 
for some distance, but had seen no sign of Verhoeff. They 
left a note for him, intending to return for a further search. 

We now began to feel grave apprehensions regarding the 
missing man, and a vigorous search was immediately deter- 
mined upon. Mr. Peary set to work to provision the boat; 
then, summoning about him all the native men, who are as 
expert as our Indians in following a trail, he told them that 
they must go with him to Five-Glacier Valley and look for 
Verhoeff, promising a rifle and ammunition to the man who 
should first discover him. Professor Heilprin then suggested 
that while Mr. Peary and his men went up McCormick Bay 
to the mouth of the valley, he and his party should go round 
in the " Kite " to the head of the valley in Robertson Bay ; 
and it was so decided, and the Eskimos were divided between 
the two parties. I remained at Redcliffe with Matt and the 
native women and children. 

At two o'clock the search-parties left, and I turned my 
attention once more to packing. The women stood around 
me, devoured with curiosity as to what I would do with all 
these things, and plying me with questions as to whose hus- 



202 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

band would win the coveted prize. They would not believe 
that I did not know, because I had known that Mr. Peary and 
Astrup would return from the inland ice. 

Friday, August 19. The day is not a promising one; dark 
clouds are gathering and the air seems oppressive. I trust 
that the search-parties will find Mr. Verhoeff to-day, for he 
must be running short of provisions by this time. We calcu- 
lated that what he had could by economizing be made to last 
him through Wednesday, and to-day is Friday. There is no 
sign of boat or ship. 

Most of our provisions are stowed away on the " Kite," 
among them all the fresh meat ; in the excitement we forgot 
to get any out for our use, and to-day we are living on crack- 
ers and coffee. 

Sunday, August 21. When this morning's fog lifted at 
noon, the " Kite " was seen off Five-Glacier Valley. All day 
yesterday we watched for her and waited for some news, but 
heard and saw nothing. Seeing the vessel, I supposed of 
course that Verhoeff had been found, and the " Kite " had 
gone round to the valley to pick up the rest of the party. 

After hours of watching we saw the " Kite " get up steam 
and head down the bay toward Redcliffe, and late in the after- 
noon she stopped opposite our house, and the professor came 
off to me in a boat, only to bring the distressing news that 
nothing had been seen or heard of Verhoeff. Mr. Peary 
was then exploring the shore from the mouth of the valley 
around Cairn Point to the head of Robertson Bay, where it 



FAREWELL TO GREENLAND 203 

was intended that the " Kite " should join him. Another 
party were making thorough search through the valley. After 
leaving me some provisions the " Kite " continued on her way 
to Robertson Bay. 

Tuesday, August 23. We have had no tidings from the 
search-parties since the " Kite " left us Sunday evening. I 
am very much afraid that we shall never see our lost compan- 
ion alive again. The weather since he has been in the field 
has been exceptionally cold, raw, and wet, and he was clothed 
very lightly ; besides, his food must have given out some days 
ago. The natives all agree that no one could have slept with- 
out shelter in the furious gales which we have had lately, 
clothed as lightly as Verhoeff was ; and as they have the 
experience which we lack, I cannot help feeling that there is 
truth in what they say, so to-night I go to bed with a heavy 
heart. With the dark winter night passed in safety and com- 
fort, and the long sledge journey accomplished successfully, it 
seems sad indeed that we should now, on the eve of our de- 
parture, meet with so great a loss. 

Wednesday, August 24. About two o'clock this morning 
Mane came running in to me with the news that the ship was 
coming, and I at once went out on the beach to await her. In 
half an hour she dropped anchor, and Mr. Peary, with the other 
members of our party, came ashore bringing the sad tidings 
that Verhoeff' s footprints had been found and traced upon 
a great glacier which was cut by numberless wicked-looking 
crevasses, and there lost. After searching the glacier in every 



2O4 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

direction without success, there was no doubt left that poor 
Verhoeff had lost his life in an effort to cross the ice-stream. 
Mr. Peary cached enough provisions to last one man a year, 
at Cairn Point, in case Verhoeff should, in some miraculous 
way, return after the "Kite's" departure. 

It was with a feeling akin to homesickness that I took the 
pictures and ornaments from the walls of our little room, pulled 
down the curtains from the windows and bed, had Matt pack 
the books and nail them up, sorted the things on the bed, and 
packed those I wanted to keep. The tins and cooking utensils 
I put on the stone and turf wall just outside of my room pre- 
vious to distributing them among the natives. 

My trunk packed and removed, the carpet up and the cur- 
tains down, the improvised bookcase taken to pieces, and it 
was hard to imagine that this dismantled room had once been 
as snug and comfortable as any boudoir in the world. Could 
the walls talk they would tell of some very pleasant hours 
spent there by the members of the North Greenland Expe- 
dition of 189192, and of many months of real solid comfort 
and happiness enjoyed by the woman who, when she left home 
and friends, was told over and over again that she must ex- 
pect to endure all kinds of hardships, to suffer agony from 
that dreaded Arctic enemy, scurvy, etc. 

I next turned my attention to the various articles put aside 
for the Eskimos, and after sorting them over I called all the 
women in the settlement to me, and stood them in a row. 
There were nine among them, including the two brides (mere 



FAREWELL TO GREENLAND 



2O5 



children), Tookymingwah, wife of Kookoo, and Tungwingwah, 
wife of Kulutingwah. When they had grasped the idea that 
I was about to present them with these things they fairly 
danced with joy, shouting to their husbands, and laughing and 
talking with each other. I took care that Mane and M'gipsu, 
who had been with us constantly sewing and curing skins, 
should have the more desirable articles, while the others 
shared equally. After the distribution the professor, with a 
few members of his party, rowed off to the " Kite," and in 
a short time returned with their boat laden with pots, kettles, 
knives, scissors, thimbles, and needles for the women, and long 
ash-poles, timber cut suitable for kayaks, lances, saws, gimlets, 
knives, etc. in fact, everything in the hardware and lumber 
line that could be of any possible use to the men. Then all 
the natives were collected on the beach and the different 
.... 




Receiving Gifts of Charity. 



206 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

articles distributed among them. I know if the good Penn- 
sylvanians who sent these gifts could have seen the pleasure 
these poor natives derived from them they would have felt 
amply repaid. 

We spent a couple of hours in taking photographs of the 
natives, their tupics, our poor little abandoned house and its 
surroundings, and then bade farewell to Redcliffe. It had 
been my home for thirteen months some of them had 
seemed more than twice as long as any ordinary month 
and I felt sorry to leave it to the mercy of wind and weather 
and Eskimo. Mane asked me if she might pitch her tupic in 
my room, saying it would be so nice and dry, and the wind 
could not strike it and blow it over ; then, too, no matter how 
cold it might be, her ikkimer would be sufficient to heat it 
comfortably. I told her she might do so, but she must take 
good care of the house and not allow others to destroy any- 
thing about it, until the return of the next sun, when, if we 
did not come back, it should belong to Ikwa and herself to 
do with as they wished. 

It was about noon when I left the settlement with the last 
boat-load, and as soon as we were safely on board the " Kite " 
the work of raising the anchor was begun. In the meantime 
Ikwa and Kyo in their kayaks were paddling round and round 
the " Kite," calling to us their last good-byes. Ikwa asked 
if he might come aboard just once more, and on permission 
being granted, he immediately climbed over the side and 
jumped on deck. Some one took a fancy to his kayak pad- 



FAREWELL TO GREENLAND 2O7 

die, which had been broken and mended, as only an Eskimo 
can mend, in at least a dozen different places, and gave him 
an old sledge-runner for it. When the time came for the Old 
Pirate to leave us all of us felt badly, and when he said " Goo- 
by," with his peculiar accent, his eyes filled and he choked. 
After this he would not turn his head in our direction, and 
only waved his hand in answer to our good-byes. His pic- 
ture, as he paddled himself with the sledge-runner, curved at 
both ends, to the shore, will never fade from my memory. 

As the " Kite " steamed slowly down the bay the natives 
ran along the beach, shouting to us and waving their hands, 
Kulutingwah bringing up the rear with a torn American flag 
attached to a pole, which he waved frantically to the imminent 
danger of those near him. I could not help thinking, Have 
these poor ignorant people, who are absolutely isolated from 
the rest of humanity, really benefited by their intercourse with 
us, or have we only opened their eyes to their destitute con- 
dition ? I hope the latter is not the case, for a happier, mer- 
rier set of people I have never seen ; no thought beyond the 
present, and no care beyond that of getting enough to eat 
and to wear. As we steamed down the bay we turned our 
eyes on the red cliffs, and when they faded from view Cape 
Cleveland and Herbert and Northumberland Islands were the 
only familiar landmarks left in sight. On these we gazed 
with the feeling that we were looking our last upon the scene. 
The old Cape, especially, seemed very near and dear to me ; 
twice it had sheltered and protected me from the fury of an 



2O8 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Arctic gale once in the winter when Mr. Peary and the doc- 
tor had gone to rescue " Jack," my pet Newfoundland, from 
its precipitous cliffs, and the second time only a few days 
ago, when we returned from our venturesome boat journey 
up Inglefield Gulf. 

Our home journey was almost wholly devoid of incident. 
Melville Bay, smooth as glass, had lost its terrors, and we 
steamed through it almost without hindrance. We reached 
Atanekerdluk, in the Waigatt, on August 29th, and there 
spent a delightful and profitable day in collecting fossils 
among the " leaf beds " which have been made famous to 
geologists. The following morning we arrived at Godhavn, 
where once more we enjoyed the kind hospitality of Inspector 
and Mrs. Anderssen, and the pleasing attentions of a daughter 
who had only recently returned from Denmark. The same 
friendly reception awaited us at Godthaab, the capital of the 
Southern Inspectorate of Greenland, where the honors of hos- 
pitality were divided between Inspector and Mrs. Fencker and 
Governor and Mrs. Baumann. It was here that Nansen de- 
scended from the ice-cap after his memorable journey across 
the Land of Desolation and passed a long, weary winter of 
waiting. 

The Eskimos of this region have the reputation of being 
the most expert kayakers in the whole of Greenland, and 
we were witness to some of their most remarkable feats, 
such as describing a complete revolution through the water, 



FAREWELL TO GREENLAND 



209 



and crossing one another at right angles, one canoe shooting 
over the bow of the other. These performances, which are 




Sports of the Kayakers. Overturning. 

said to have been at one time common with all the west- 
Eskimos, are rapidly becoming a lost art, and it has even 
doubted if they took place 
at all. 

Our kind friends were so 
pressing in their attentions 
that it was not without re- 
gret that we were forced 
to bid adieu to their hos- 
pitable homes and a last 
farewell to the Greenland 
shores. After a rather 
tempestuous voyage we 
arrived at St. John's, New- 
foundland, on September 
nth, to find a scene of 

desolation, and wreck and Kayaker Overturned. 



coast 
been 




210 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

ruin running in the path of the recent conflagration. The fire 
had broken out two days after the departure of the " Kite " on 
her last mission of good-will, and this was the first intimation 
that any of us had had of the catastrophe. Shaping our course 
southward, we arrived, after an uneventful voyage, at our port 
of destination, Philadelphia, where on the 24th, amid a chorus 
of cheers and hurrahs, and the tooting of innumerable horns 
and whistles, we received the congratulations of the multitude 
that had assembled to await our arrival. 

I returned in the best of health, much stronger than when 
I left sixteen months before. The journey was a thoroughly 
enjoyable one. There were some drawbacks, it is true, but 
we meet with them everywhere, and were it not for the sad 
loss of Mr. Verhoeff, I should not have a single regret. 



CHAPTER XX 

GREENLAND REVISITED 

Along the Labrador Coast Strange Passengers on the "Falcon" Holstein- 
borg and Godhavn The Quickest Passage of Melville Bay Meeting with 
Old Friends No Tidings of Verhoeff Establishing Ourselves at Bowdoin 
Bay Deaths among the Eskimos A Rich Walrus Hunt Smith Sound and 
the Northern Ice-pack Polaris House Departure of the " Falcon." 

Anniversary Lodge, Bowdoin Bay, Greenland, August 20, 
1893. The reader who has followed me through my Arctic 
experiences of 189192 may be interested to know how we 
found our Eskimo friends upon our return to them after an 
absence of nearly a year. 

On July 8 the steamship " Falcon," carrying north the mem- 
bers of Mr. Peary's new Arctic expedition, left Portland, and 
headed for St. John's, where we landed on the 1 3th. We had 
with us a conglomerate cargo, including, in addition to the 
ordinary paraphernalia of an Arctic expedition, eight little 
Mexican burros or donkeys, two St. Bernard dogs, the Eskimo 
dogs which Mr. Peary had brought down from Greenland, and 
numerous homing pigeons, kindly presented to us by friends 
interested in the expedition. At St. John's we added a few 

211 



212 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

Newfoundland dogs, and then proceeded north along the Lab- 
rador coast, touching at several of the missionary stations, where 
.we obtained about thirty dogs from the Eskimos. It was a 
pitiable sight to see how famished these poor Moravian mis- 
sionaries were for news from the old as well as the new coun- 
try. They have direct mail communication with Europe only 
once a year. 

I was told that although they have only three months in 
the year when frost is out of the ground, yet they all cultivate 
small gardens, and the most delicious dish of stewed rhubarb 
that I ever tasted was prepared from a bundle sent to me by 
one of the missionaries. It was interesting to note that while 
the appearance of the Labrador Eskimos is very similar to that 
of the natives of South Greenland, yet their mode of dress 
is different in both pattern and material. The undershirts, 
instead of being made of the skins of birds, are made of blan- 
keting, and instead of being the same length back and front, 
are fashioned with a long tail ; over this is worn a garment of 
the same pattern, made of drilling. The trousers are also of 
woven material. Of course this was their summer costume. 
The women all wore blanket skirts, and had woolen shawls 
about their shoulders. 

After following the coast of Labrador for ten days, we 
headed across Davis Strait for Holsteinborg, on the Green- 
land shore. It took us about twelve hours to steam through 
the stream of ice which was flowing southward, but only once 
did the " Falcon " have to go astern in order to move a pan of 



GREENLAND REVISITED 213 

ice and make a passageway for herself. Steadily she steamed 
on, butting against the cakes and floes until her timbers quiv- 
ered and creaked. At last we were in clear water again, and 
then our vessel fairly bounded over the waves. 

Arrived at Holsteinborg, we found a pretty, clean little 
village. There are more wooden houses here than at Godhavn, 
and altogether the place looks more thrifty. We found the 
governor absent, but the assistant governor, a young Danish 
officer who spoke a little English, did the honors, and he pro- 
cured twenty-three dogs from the natives for us. Among 
other attentions, he sent to me a basket of radishes, fresh from 
his garden. 

Business completed, the " Falcon " steamed north for God- 
havn. On our arrival at this little hamlet we found everything 
apparently unchanged, but, to our great disappointment, our 
pilot informed us that Inspector Anderssen was absent on a 
tour of inspection, accompanied by his daughter, and that 
Governor Joergensen and family had gone to Denmark. We 
found Mrs. Anderssen as rosy-cheeked and as youthful as when 
we first saw her. She made our visit very pleasant, rounding 
it off with one of her delightful little dinners on the evening 
of our departure. We requited her hospitality by presenting 
her with various kinds of fruit pineapples, lemons, oranges, 
and a watermelon. The natives expressed great pleasure on 
seeing us, and old Frederick, who had accompanied Mr. Peary 
on the ice in 1886, after shaking hands with me, said, "Very 
gude, you look all samee," rubbing his hands over his face and 



214 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

then pointing to mine to show me that I had not changed in 
looks since last he saw me. 

Our next stopping-place was Upernavik, where we remained 
just long enough to pick up a few dogs, after which we put in 
at Tassiusak, the most northerly inhabited spot in the world 
belonging to any government. This place boasts of but a sin- 
gle wooden house. We here still further increased our stock 
of dogs, and then left. The next day we revisited the Duck 
Islands, but this year the sport did not compare with that of 
two years ago, when the birds were so plentiful that one could 
hardly walk without fear of stepping on them. This year it 
was a month later in the season, and not only were the young 
ducks hatched, but the old mother ducks were out teaching the 
ducklings to swim, and the islands consequently were all but 
deserted. I devoted my time to the gathering of down for the 
bedding in our Arctic home, and secured about thirty pounds. 

We now headed for the ever-dreaded Melville Bay, my first 
experience with which I shall never forget. We were then 
three weeks in crossing, and it was during that time that Mr. 
Peary had the misfortune to have his leg broken. This time 
everything looked favorable ; we had no fog, and there was no 
ice in sight from the crow's nest. Captain Bartlett was deter- 
mined to break the record in the crossing of this water thirty- 
six hours on this his first voyage to the Arctic regions. In 
twenty-four hours and fifty minutes we reached the Eskimo 
settlement at Cape York, Melville Bay behind us and still no 
ice to be seen. 



GREENLAND REVISITED 215 

At this settlement, where formerly so many natives lived, 
we found only three families, all of them strange to us ; they 
could tell us nothing about our acquaintances in the tribe, not 
having seen any of the inhabitants to the north of them since 
the time we left McCormick Bay. We pushed on along the 
Greenland coast until we rounded Cape Parry, and then steamed 
into Barden Bay, stopping at the Eskimo village of Netchiolumy. 
Here, too, instead of finding about sixty natives, as was the 
case a year ago, we found only two families. Mr. Peary with 
two men went ashore at once, and before their boat reached 
the land I heard one of the natives shout " Chimo Peary," 
and saw him dance up and down for joy. On his return 
Mr. Peary informed me that the natives were Keshu, alias the 
Smiler, and Myah, the White Man, with their families. They 
were wild with delight, and begged to be allowed to accom- 
pany us to the site of our new house and pitch their tents 
beside it. They were stowed with all their belongings into 
Mr. Peary's boat, and in a short time both families with their 
houses and their chattels were on board the " Falcon." They 
gave us all the news and gossip of the tribe. Naturally, we 
first questioned them about our lost companion, Mr. Verhoeff. 
There never was a doubt in our minds that Mr. Verhoeff lost 
his life in crossing the glacier at the head of Robertson Bay ; 
but his friends at home took a different view of the matter, 
and were confident that we would find him alive and well. 
These natives say that nothing has been seen or heard of him, 
and they hesitate to speak of him, as they never speak of their 



2l6 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

dead. Mr. Peary thought perhaps some article of his clothing 
had been found by the Eskimos that might throw some light 
on the disappearance of our unfortunate associate ; but nothing 
whatever has been found. We next inquired about our Eski- 
mo friends, and were grieved to hear that the little five- 
year-old, bright-eyed, mischievous Anadore, daughter of our 
henchman Ikwa and his wife Mane, had died in the early 
spring. We learned that Redcliffe House had been destroyed 
by a few of the natives, led on by the famous angekok, Kyo- 
ahpadu, and that he had also destroyed the provisions which 
were cached at Cairn Point by Mr. Peary. 

We arrived at our destination, at the head of Bowdoin Bay, 
on August 3d, without any difficulty, the ice having almost 
completely left the bay and sound. The Sculptured Cliffs of 
Karnah, forming the cape of Bowdoin Bay, stood out sharp 
and clear in the early morning sunlight, while the towering red 




The Cliffs of Karnah. 



GREENLAND REVISITED 21 7 

Castle Cliffs frowned down upon the bay from the opposite 
cape. 

The site selected for our new home is only a few feet from 
where we pitched our tent last year when engaged in the ex- 
ploration of Inglefield Gulf, and where, amidst a furious rain- 
storm, we celebrated our wedding anniversary. As we shall 
celebrate at least two more such anniversaries here, we have 
christened our new home "Anniversary Lodge." The great 
cliff which mounts guard over us Mr. Peary has named Mt. 
Bartlett, in honor of our gallant young skipper, Captain Harry 
Bartlett, of St. John's. Our snug and picturesque harbor is to 
be known as Falcon Harbor, named after the little bark which 
brought us here in safety, and which is the first ship to anchor 
in these waters. 

The day after we dropped anchor in Falcon Harbor we were 
visited by five of our former Eskimo acquaintances, who had 
paddled at least twenty-five or thirty miles in their kayaks on 
seeing the ship pass their settlement. Two of them, Kuluting- 
wah and Annowkah, were residents of Redcliffe, and it really 
seemed like meeting old neighbors, although I must confess 
that they appear even dirtier than they did a year ago. An- 
nowkah told me that his wife, M'gipsu, who was our most 
skilful seamstress, was ill; but it is impossible to get these 
people to talk much about their sick, and so I was unable to 
find out what really ailed the poor woman. 

Our Eskimos stayed with us a few days and assisted us in 
landing our supplies. They were vastly amused at the burros, 



2l8 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

which they persist in calling "big dogs"; and I can hardly 
blame them, for my St. Bernard dog is almost as large and 
tall as some of these little animals. After the provisions were 
all ashore, each native took a load of about fifty pounds on his 
back and carried it to the ice-cap ; but this was the last straw, 
and every man decided that he really must return to his 
family at once. 

On August 12, the work on the house being well advanced, 
Mr. Peary decided to make a trip after walrus for dog-food, 
intending to proceed as far as Smith Sound, if possible. It 
takes quite a little pile of meat to feed eighty-three Eskimo 
dogs. Accompanied by the two natives, Keshu and Myah, 
we started for Karnah, the nearest settlement, where we had 
intended to pick up one or two additional hunters; but on 
reaching the place we were shocked to hear that M'gipsu had 
died " two sleeps ago." Mr. Peary went to Annowkah's tent, 
and there sat the bereaved husband, with his sealskin hood 
pulled over his head, looking straight before him, saying noth- 
ing and doing nothing, apparently knowing nothing of what 
was going on about him. It is the custom with these people 
to act in this way for a certain length of time after a death, 
and then they desert the hut 'or tent in which the death has 
taken place, and it is never again occupied. M'gipsu's little 
six-year-old boy, whose father died when he was very small, 
also sat in the tent all huddled up in one corner. Poor little 
fellow ! I do not know what will become of him now, for it is an 
open secret that his stepfather, Annowkah, does not like him. 



GREENLAND REVISITED 2IQ 

As we proceeded up the sound we saw the cakes of ice 
thickly sprinkled with walrus, which had come out of the 
water and were taking a sun-bath. The boats were lowered, 
and the men started after them. In a few hours we had 
twenty-four of the monsters on board. Their average weight 
was estimated at not less than fifteen hundred pounds. There 
were several cold baths taken by the hunters, and some narrow 
escapes, but nothing serious occurred, and we continued on our 
course, heading for Cape Alexander. Once around the cape, 
we steamed half-way across the sound toward Cape Sabine, 
where we were stopped by the ice-pack, which stretched in 
an unbroken plain as far as we could see. Turning back, we 
visited the site of the Polaris House, where a portion of Cap- 
tain Hall's party wintered after the " Polaris " was wrecked. 
We picked up a number of souvenirs in the shape of bolts, 
hooks, hinges, even buttons and leaves from books. A quan- 
tity of rope was found on the border of a little pond just back 
of where the house stood, and it seemed to be in a state of 
perfect preservation. We also stopped at Littleton Island, and 
on the adjoining McGary Island some of the party indulged 
in a little shooting. A few ducks and guillemots were shot ; 
four additional walrus and an oogzook seal were also obtained 
in this vicinity. The weather then became thick and a strong 
wind sprang up, which put an end to the sport. 

All night we steamed toward Hakluyt Island, but on reach- 
ing it we could not make a landing on account of the gale. 
We lay in the shelter of the cliffs of Northumberland, and 



220 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

when the storm abated steamed along its shore, and, crossing 
Whale Sound, entered Olrich's Bay, the scenery of which sur- 
passes that of any of the other Greenland bays that I have 
seen. Our party scattered at once in search of reindeer, 
which we were told were numerous here, and in a few hours 
we had seventeen on board ship. 

Our house is up, and promises to be very cozy. The good 
ship "Falcon" sails for home to-morrow, taking with her the 
last messages which we can send our dear ones for some time. 

Everything points to the success which Mr. Peary hopes 
for. What the future will bring, however, no one can tell. 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 

FROM McCORMICK BAY 

TO THE NORTHERN SHORE OF GREENLAND 
AND RETURN 

BY 

ROBERT E. PEARY 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY. 

According to my program, the ist of May was to be the 
time for the start on the inland ice, and on the 28th of April, 
Astrup, Gibson, Dr. Cook, and the native men then at Red- 
cliffe left with the last load of supplies for the head of 
McCormick Bay. The natives were to return after helping 
the boys carry the supplies to the top of the bluff; the boys 
themselves were to push forward with the work until I joined 
them. This I did on the 3d of May. When I left Redcliffe 
the number of natives there had dwindled very materially ; 
some drawn away to the seal-hunt, but more driven away by 
their superstitious feeling in regard to my going upon the 
great ice. We had the most exceptionally fine weather all 
through April, but on the very night that I reached the head 
of the bay a sullen sky over the ice-cap betokened a change. 
From this night until the morning of the 6th of August, when 
Astrup and myself clambered down the flower-strewn bluffs 
again, my couch was the frozen surface of the inland ice, and 
my canopy the blue sky. 

The first two weeks after leaving the little house upon the 
shores of McCormick Bay were occupied in transporting the 
supplies which at various times during the preceding month 



223 



224 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

had been carried by the members of my party and helping 
natives to the crest of the bluffs at the head of the bay to 
the edge of the true inland ice, some miles distant, and then 
in dragging them over and among the succession of the great 
domes of ice which extend inward some fifteen miles to the 
gradual slope of the vast interior snow-plain. One or two 
snow-storms and the constant violent wind rushing down from 
the interior to the shore, combined with the difficulties of the 
road and the constant annoyance from our team of twenty 
savage and powerful Eskimo dogs, entirely unaccustomed to 
us and to our methods, made these two weeks a time of un- 
remitting and arduous labor for myself. The only pleasant 
break in this work was the occurrence of my own birthday, 
and the unexpected appearance from among the medical 
stores, in charge of Dr. Cook, of a little box from the hands 
of the dear one left behind, containing a bottle of Chateau 
Yquem, a wine endeared to both of us by many delightful 
associations, a cake, and a note containing birthday wishes for 
success and continued health. Once on the true ice-cap, two 
good marches brought us to the divide, from which, as from 
the ridge of a great white-roofed house, the ice-cap slopes 
north to the shores of Kane Basin and historic Renssellaer 
Harbor, where Kane and his little party passed so many Arc- 
tic months, and southward to the shores of Whale Sound and 
our own little home. From this divide we had a slight de- 
scent in our favor, and we kept on from the edge of the basin 
of the Humboldt Glacier, where the great mass of the inland 



I 




THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 225 

ice, like very cold molasses, hollows itself slowly down to the 
mighty glacier itself. Here the fiercest storm that we had 
encountered thus far burst upon us, and for three days we 
were confined to our snow shelter, getting out as best we 
could in occasional lulls in the storm to secure loose dogs and 
endeavor to protect the loads upon the sledges from their 
ravages. In this we were fairly successful, though we did not 
succeed in preventing them from devouring some six pounds 
of cranberry jam, and eating the foot off Gibson's sleeping- 
bag. This storm over, we were not again troubled by really 
violent storms during our northward march. 

On the 24th of May Dr. Cook and Gibson, who had formed 
our supporting party, left us to return to Redcliffe, leaving 
Astrup as my sole companion for the remainder of the jour- 
ney. On the last day of May, from the dazzling surface 
of the ice-cap we looked down into the basin of the Peter- 
mann Glacier the grandest amphitheater of snow and ragged 
ice that human eye has ever seen, walled in the distance by a 
Titan dam of black mountains, and all lit by the yellow mid- 
night sunlight. Still keeping on to the northward, navigating 
the ice as does the mariner the sea along an unknown coast, 
we were befogged for two or three days in clouds and mists 
which prevented us from seeing to any distance. As a result, 
we approached too near the mountains of the coast, and got 
entangled in the rough ice and crevasses of the Sherard Os- 
borne Glacier system. Here we lost twelve or fourteen days 
in our efforts to get back to the smooth, unbroken snow-cap 

15 



226 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



of the interior. Once there, we continued our march, always 
northeastward, till on the 2;th of June I discerned black 
mountain-summits rising above the horizon of the ice-cap, 

directly ahead of us. 
Then the northwest en- 
trance of a fjord came 
into view, and we could 
trace its course south- 
easterly just beyond the 
nearer mountains of the 
land north and north- 
east. I changed my 
course to east, when I 
was soon confronted by 
the land and the fjord 
beyond. Then I turned 
to the southeast, and 
traveled in that direc- 
tion until the 1st of July, 
when we, after fifty- 
seven days of journey- 
ing over a barren waste 
of snow, stepped upon the rocks of a strange new land, lying 
red-brown in the sunlight, and dotted with snow-drifts here 
and there. The murmur of rushing streams, the roar of leap- 
ing cataracts from the ice- cap, and the song of snow-buntings 
made the air musical. Leaving the sledge and our supplies at 




The Land beyond the Ice. 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 22 7 

the very edge of the rocks, leading our dogs, and with a few 
days' supplies upon our backs, Astrup and myself started on 
over this strange land, bound for the coast, which we knew 
could not be far distant. Four days of the hardest traveling, 
over sharp stones of all sizes, through drifts of snow and across 
rushing torrents, and we came out at last upon the summit of 
a towering cliff, about 3500 feet high, now known as Navy 
Cliff, from which we overlooked the great and hitherto un- 
discovered Independence Bay. 

Before us stretched new lands and waters, to which, with 
the explorer's prerogative, I gave names, as follows : the bay 
at our feet, opening into the Arctic Ocean half-way between 
the 8 ist and 82d parallels of latitude, was named Indepen- 
dence Bay in honor of the day, July 4th ; the red-brown land 
beyond the fjord which had stopped our forward northward 
progress was called Heilprin Land ; and a still more distant 
land beyond the entrance of a second fjord, Melville Land. 
The enormous glacier at our right, flowing due north into In- 
dependence Bay, received the name of Academy Glacier, and 
the bold rugged land beyond it, Daly Land. 

It was almost impossible for us to believe that we were 
standing upon the northern shore of Greenland as we gazed 
from the summit of this bronze cliff, with the most brilliant 
sunshine all about us, with yellow poppies growing between 
the rocks around our feet, and a herd of musk-oxen in the 
valley behind us. Two of these animals we had killed, and 
their bodies were now awaiting our return for a grand feast of 



228 



MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 



fresh meat. Down in that same valley I had found an old 
friend, a dandelion in bloom, and had seen the bullet-like 
flight and heard the energetic buzz of the bumble-bee. 

For seven days we remained in this northern land, more 
than six hundred miles of pathless icy sea separating us from 
the nearest human being, and then we began our return 
march. This return march, much shorter than the upward 



The Academy Glacier. 

one, was uneventful and monotonous. 
For about two weeks we were about 
a mile and a half above the sea-level, 

literally in the clouds, and day after day, in every direction, 
stretched only the steel-blue line of the snow horizon. The 
snow was soft and light, and without our " ski," or Norwegian 
snow-skates, and Indian snow-shoes we should have been almost 
helpless in it ; but at last, after passing the latitude of the 
Humboldt Glacier, when we were only about a mile above 
the sea-level, the traveling became better. The slight down- 
grade assisted us, and for seven days we averaged thirty miles 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 



229 



a day, increasing our distance on each successive day, showing 
that both men and dogs were in perfect training, and, like the 
scientific athlete, had still the reserve force necessary for a 
grand spurt on the home stretch. 

The night of the 5th to the 6th of August was an exqui- 
sitely clear and perfect one. From eight to eleven Astrup 
and myself and our remaining five dogs toiled up the north 
slope of the largest of the ice-domes between the head of 
McCormick Bay and the edge of the true interior ice one to 
which I had given the name "Dome Mountain." As I rose 




M A P O F 

INDEPENDENCE BAY 

EAST COAST OF GREENLAND 

JULY H T " i8)i 
R.E. PEA.RY. U.SN*vY 



OBSERVATION SPOT ON NMY CLIFF 
LA.T. 8r 37 S" N 
L.ONG. 5M*5' W. 



230 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

over the crest of the great white mass and looked down and 
forward upon our course, there, some two miles away, upon 
the slope of the next dome, were two or three dark, irregular 
objects. Even as I looked at them they moved and separated, 
until I could count several detached bodies. They could be 
but one thing men; and as there were so many of them, 
and as I was sure that none of the Eskimos could have been 
persuaded by my boys to set foot upon the inland ice, I knew 
in an instant that some ship was lying in the bay waiting for 
us. It was but a little while later, both parties descending 
rapidly toward each other, that we met in the depression be- 
tween the two domes, and I grasped again the hand of Pro- 
fessor Heilprin, who had been the last to say good-by to me 
a year before, as I lay a cripple in my tent, and who now had 
come again to meet me and bring us back. It was a strange 
and never-to-be-forgotten meeting. In the ship lying at 
anchor at the very head of the bay I found the woman who 
had been waiting for me for three months, and two days later 
we were back again in the little house which had sheltered us 
through a year of Arctic vicissitudes. 

Such, in brief, is the outline of the inland-ice journey from 
McCormick Bay to the northern shore of Greenland and back. 
Its important results are already well known, and it is not 
necessary to revert to them here. I will attempt, however, to 
give some adequate impression of the unique surroundings in 
which our work was done, and also to make clear the real 
character of this great interior ice-plateau, a natural feature so 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 231 

entirely different from any with which we are aquainted in 
better known portions of the globe that I have sometimes 
found it difficult to convey, even to the most cultivated 
minds, a really adequate conception of what the great ice-cap 
is like. 

The terms " inland ice " and " great interior frozen sea," 
two of the more common names by which the region traversed 
by us is generally known, both suggest to the majority of 
people erroneous ideas. In the first place, the surface is not 
ice, but merely a compacted snow. The term " sea " is also 
a misnomer in so far as it suggests the idea of a sometime ex- 
panse of water subsequently frozen over. The only justifica- 
tion for the term is the unbroken and apparently infinite hori- 
zon which bounds the vision of the traveler upon its surface. 
Elevated as the entire region is to a height of from 4000 to 
9000 feet above the sea-level, the towering mountains of the 
coast, which would be visible to the sailor at a distance of 
sixty to eighty miles, disappear beneath the landward con- 
vexity of the ice-cap by the time the traveler has penetrated 
fifteen or twenty miles into the interior, and then he may 
travel for days and weeks with no break whatever in the con- 
tinuity of the sharp, steel-blue line of the horizon. 

The sea has its days of towering, angry waves, of laughing, 
glistening white-caps, of mirror-like calm. The " frozen sea " 
is always the same motionless, petrified. Around its white 
shield the sun circles for months in succession, never hiding 
his face except in storms. Once a month the pale full moon 



232 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

climbs above the opposite horizon, and circles with him for 
eight or ten days. 

Sometimes, though rarely, cloud shadows drift across the 
white expanse, but usually the cloud phenomena are the heavy 
prophecies or actualities of furious storms veiling the entire 
sky ; at other times they are merely the shadows of dainty, 
transparent cirrus feathers. In clearest weather the solitary 
traveler upon this white Sahara sees but three things outside 
of and beyond himself the unbroken, white expanse of the 
snow, the unbroken blue expanse of the sky, and the sun. In 
cloudy weather all three of these may disappear. 

Many a time I have found myself in cloudy weather travel- 
ing in gray space. Not only was there no object to be seen, 
but in the entire sphere of vision there was no difference in 
intensity of light. My feet and snow-shoes were sharp and 
clear as silhouettes, and I was sensible of contact with the 
snow at every step. Yet as far as my eyes gave me evidence 
to the contrary, I was walking upon nothing. The space be- 
tween my snow-shoes was as light as the zenith. The opaque 
light which filled the sphere of vision might come from below 
as well as above. A curious mental as well as physical strain 
resulted from this blindness with wide-open eyes, and some- 
times we were obliged to stop and await a change. 

The wind is always blowing on the great ice-cap, sometimes 
with greater, sometimes with less violence, but the air is never 
quiet. When the velocity of the wind increases beyond a 
certain point it scoops up the loose snow, and the surface of 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 233 

the inland ice disappears beneath a hissing white torrent of 
blinding drift. The thickness of this drift may be anywhere 
from six inches to thirty or even fifty feet, dependent upon 
the consistency of the snow. When the depth of the drift is 
not in excess of the height of the knee, its surface is as tan- 
gible and almost as sharply defined as that of a sheet of water, 
and its incessant dizzy rush and strident sibilation become, 
when long continued, as maddening as the drop, drop, drop, 
of water on the head in the old torture- rooms. 

While traversing the inland ice our hours of marching were 
those corresponding to what here would be night that is, 
when the sun was above the northern horizon. In our line of 
march I took the lead, on snow-shoes or ski as the condition 
of the snow demanded, setting the course by compass, or by 
time, and the shadow cast by my bamboo staff. The dogs, a 
few yards in the rear, followed my trail, and Astrup traveled 
on ski beside the sledge, encouraging the dogs and keeping 
them up to their work. 

Our daily routine was as follows: When the day's march 
(measured sometimes by the hours we had been on the move 
and sometimes by the distance covered) was completed, I be- 
gan sounding the snow with the light bamboo staff to which 
my little silken guidon was attached, until I found a place 
where it was firm enough to permit of blocks being cut from 
it. This done, the guidon-staff was erected in the snow, and 
at the shout of " Tima " from me, my dogs, no matter how 
long or how hard the day had been, would prick up their ears 



234 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

and come hurrying up to me until they could lie down around 
my feet, glad that the day's work was done. 

As soon as the sledge came to a standstill I read the odom- 
eter, aneroid, and thermometer; then Astrup and myself un- 
did the lashings, and as soon as the lines were loose Astrup 
took the saw-knife and began excavating for our kitchen, 
while I took the short steel-pointed stake to which we fast- 
ened our dogs and drove it firmly into the snow in front, 
and some fifty feet to leeward, of the kitchen site. I then 
untangled the dogs' traces, detached the animals from the 
sledge, and made them fast to the stake. I next got out a 
tin of pemmican, a can-opener, and a heavy hunting-knife, 
and, kneeling behind the sledge, prepared the dogs' rations, 
which consisted of a pound of pemmican each. I then fed 
the hungry creatures, standing over them meanwhile with the 
whip, to see that the weaker ones were not deprived of their 
share. 

By this time Astrup had completed an excavation in the 
snow, about eight feet long by three feet wide and a foot and 
a half deep, and with the snow blocks obtained from this ex- 
cavation had formed a wall a foot or a foot and a half high 
across one end and half-way down each side. Across this 
wall was put one, and sometimes both, of the ski, and over 
this was spread a light cotton sail, weighted down with blocks 
of snow. This was known as our kitchen, and at the inner- 
most end was placed the kitchen-box, containing our milk, 
tea, pea-soup, Liebig's Extract, drinking-cups, can-opener, 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 235 

knives, spoons, and the day's rations of pemmican and bis- 
cuit ; also the alcohol-stove and a box of matches, done up in 
a waterproof package. 

Then, if it was Astrup's turn as cook he immediately began 
the preparations for dinner by lighting the alcohol- lamp and 
filling the boiler with snow, while I lay down in the lee of the 
sledge arid made my notes of the day's work. If it was my 
turn as chef, as soon as the kitchen was finished I took pos- 
session of it, and Astrup retreated to the shelter of the sledge. 
While the snow was melting I wrote up my notes, Astrup 
usually devoting this time to rubbing vaseline into his face to 
repair the ravages of the sun and wind. As soon as sufficient 
water had been melted, two cupfuls of pea-soup were made, 
and this, with a half-pound lump of pemmican, formed our 
first course. While we were enjoying this the water for our 
tea was brought to the boiling-point. Pea-soup and pemmi- 
can finished, we each had a cupful of cold milk, and when this 
had disappeared the tea was made ; six biscuits apiece formed 
our dessert. 

When our luxurious repast was over, what was left of our 
day's allowance of alcohol was allowed to expend itself on a 
fresh boilerful of snow for our morning tea, while the cook 
made his preparations for the night by changing his footgear 
and tightening the drawstrings of his furs. In addition to his 
other duties, the cook of the day had the entire responsibility, 
from dinner-time until breakfast, of the dogs, and it was the 
first rigid regulation of the journey that he should always be 



236 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

so dressed that he could at a moment's notice jump from his 
shelter and capture a loose dog. The dogs were always fast- 
ened directly in front of the opening of the kitchen, so that 
the occupant, by raising his head, could see at once if his pres- 
ence were needed. During the first portion of our journey 
this duty was an onerous one, and frequently meant a sleep- 
less night ; but later on, after several of the dogs had received 
some severe discipline for attempted thefts, and particularly 
after we had adopted the plan of muzzling them every night 
as soon as they had finished their dinner, we had but little 
trouble. 

In the morning I was generally the one to waken first, and 
would either start the alcohol-lamp myself or else call Astrup 
for that purpose. Our morning meal consisted of a lump of 
pemmican, six biscuits, two ounces of butter, and two cups of 
tea each. As soon as this was finished everything was re- 
packed on the sledge, and while Astrup was completing the 
lashing, I removed the dogs' muzzles, untangled their traces, 
and attached them to the sledge. I then read the odometer, 
aneroid, and thermometer, and, taking the guidon, which had 
waved and fluttered over the kitchen throughout our hours of 
rest, from its place, stepped forward, and the next march was 
commenced. After from four to six hours of marching we 
would halt for half an hour to eat our simple lunch of pemmi- 
can and give the dogs a rest, and then, after another four to 
six hours of traveling, halt again and repeat the already de- 
scribed routine. 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 237 

The three sledges used on our journey were the survivors 
of a fleet of ten, comprising seven different styles. They con- 
sisted simply of two long, broad wooden runners curved at 
both ends, with standards supporting light but strong cross- 
bars. The largest sledge was thirteen feet long and two feet 
wide, with runners four inches wide and standards six inches 
high ; this sledge had no particle of metal in its construction, 
being composed entirely of wood, horn, and rawhide lashings. 
It weighed forty-eight pounds, and carried easily a load of 
a thousand pounds. After a two hundred and fifty mile trip 
round Inglefield Gulf, it made the long journey to the north 
and return to within two hundred miles of McCormick Bay, 
when it was abandoned for a lighter sledge. The second 
sledge was eleven feet by two, with three and one- half inch 
runners and six-inch standards. It weighed thirty-five pounds, 
and carried a load of over five hundred pounds. It broke 
down on the upward trip and was abandoned. The third 
sledge, made by Astrup, was ten feet by sixteen inches, with 
three-inch runners and two-inch standards ; it weighed thirteen 
pounds, and carried a load of four hundred pounds. This 
sledge made the round trip of thirteen hundred miles, though 
carrying a load for only about eight hundred miles. 

The result of this extended practical experience with sledges 
has been to show me that my previous ideas as to the great 
superiority of the toboggan type of sledge for inland-ice work 
(ideas gained during my reconnoissance in 1 886, east of Disko 
Bay) were erroneous, and that the sledge with broad runners 



238 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

and standards is the sledge. Also, that the wear upon the 
runners is practically ;///, and that shoes of steel or ivory are 
not only useless, but actually increase the tractive resistance. 

Of even greater importance to our successful progress dur- 
ing the inland-ice journey than our sledges were the ski, or 
Norwegian snow-skates. Valuable as are the Indian snow- 
shoes for Arctic work, the ski far surpass them in speed, ease 
of locomotion, and reduced chances of chafing or straining the 
feet. On the upward journey I alternated between the snow- 
shoes and the ski, but while descending the northern ice-slope 
I had the misfortune to break one of the ski, and on the re- 
turn trip was obliged to use the snow-shoes only. Astrup 
used ski entirely from start to finish. 

I am satisfied that the only material for the clothing of men 
traveling upon the inland ice is fur, and that the man who 
dispenses with it adds to the weight he has to carry, and 
compels himself to endure serious drafts upon his vitality, to 
say nothing of deliberately choosing discomfort instead of com- 
fort. The great objection urged against fur clothing is that, 
allowing the evaporation from the body no opportunity to es- 
cape, the clothing beneath it gets saturated while the wearer is 
at work, and then, when he ceases, he becomes thoroughly 
chilled. This trouble is, in my opinion, due entirely to inex- 
perience and ignorance of how to use the fur clothing. It was 
a part of my plan to obtain the material for my fur clothing 
and sleeping-bags in the Whale Sound region, and I was en- 
tirely successful in so doing. My boys shot the deer, the 



THE GREAT WHITE JOURNEY 239 

skins were stretched and dried in Redcliffe, I devised and cut 
the patterns for the suits and sleeping-bags, and the native 
women sewed them. As a result of my study of the Eskimo 
clothing and its use, I adopted it almost literatim, and my 
complete wardrobe consisted of a hooded deerskin coat weigh- 
ing five and one-fourth pounds, a hooded sealskin coat weigh- 
ing two and one-half pounds, a pair of dogskin knee-trousers 
weighing three pounds nine ounces, sealskin boots with woolen 
socks and fur soles, weighing two pounds, and an undershirt ; 
total, about thirteen pounds. With various combinations of 
this outfit, I could keep perfectly warm and yet not get into 
a perspiration, in temperatures from 4-40 F. to 50, whether 
at rest, or walking, or pulling upon a sledge. 

The deerskin coat, with the trousers, footgear, and under- 
shirt, weighed eleven and one-fourth pounds, or about the 
same as an ordinary winter business suit, including shoes, un- 
derwear, etc., but not the overcoat. In this costume, with the 
fur inside and the drawstrings at waist, wrists, knees, and face 
pulled tight, I have seated myself upon the great ice-cap four 
thousand feet above the sea with the thermometer at 38, 
the wind blowing so that I could scarcely stand against it, and 
with back to the wind have eaten my lunch leisurely and in 
comfort ; then, stretching myself at full length for a few mo- 
ments, have listened to the fierce hiss of the snow driving past 
me with the same pleasurable sensation that, seated beside the 
glowing grate, we listen to the roar of the rain upon the roof. 

Our sleeping-bags, also of the winter coat of the deer, with 



240 MY ARCTIC JOURNAL 

the fur inside, were, I think, the lightest and warmest ever 
used. In my own bag, weighing ten and one-fourth pounds, 
I have slept comfortably out upon the open snow, with no 
shelter whatever and the thermometer at 41, wearing inside 
the bag only undergarments. During the inland-ice journey, 
throughout which the temperature was never more than a 
degree or two below zero, our sleeping-bags were discarded, 
our fur clothing being ample protection for us when asleep, 
even though I carried no tent. 

While the variety of food was not as great as it has been 
on some other expeditions, I doubt if any party ever had more 
healthy or nutritious fare. A carefully studied feature of my 
project was the entire dependence upon the game of the 
Whale Sound region for my meat supply ; and though I took 
an abundance of tea, coffee, sugar, milk, flour, corn-meal, and 
evaporated fruits and vegetables, my canned meats were only 
sufficient to carry us over the period of installation, with a 
small supply for short sledge journeys. In this respect, as in 
others, my plans were fortunate of fulfilment, and we were 
always well supplied with venison. With fresh meat and 
fresh bread every day we could smile defiance at scurvy. 



NORTH GREENLAND 

OF 1891 -'92 
R.E.PEARY, U.S.N. 




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